NBA Game Summary - Washington at Cleveland
(Thursday, December 25th)
Final Score: Cleveland 93, Washington 89
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Mo Williams scored 24 and the Cavaliers netted the game's final 11 points to remain unbeaten at home this season with a 93-89 victory over the Washington Wizards.
It was a matchup that featured a team with just four wins against a club that had just four defeats, but the Wizards gave the Cavs fits thanks to a season- high 26 points from Mike James. But in the end, it was the other James who played a part in helping the Cavaliers win for the 24th time in their last 26 games and move to 15-0 at Quicken Loans Arena.
LeBron James had half of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and Williams went 4-of-7 from three-point range, as the Cavs (25-4) won their fifth in a row and sent the Wizards to their eighth consecutive defeat.
"We never lost our composure," said LeBron James. "We were down seven and that's a three-possession ball game right there with limited time left. We continued to attack and continued to make free throws and continued to get stops on the other end too. You take that from the game, but like I said, not a pretty one and we are not satisfied at all. We'll take the win, but we are not happy with our performance at all."
Delonte West had 18 points, going 5-of-11 from three-point range, and dished out seven assists for Cleveland. Anderson Varejao totaled 13 points and a season-best 13 rebounds, and that included the huge board and two free throws with 26.6 seconds left to put Cleveland ahead for good.
Antawn Jamison had 28 points for Washington, which fell to 4-23 overall. That includes a 1-11 mark on the road.
"We should have had the win, but there were a couple of poor executions on our part and there were some other poor executions out there, too," said Wizards coach Ed Tapscott. "Those were big plays that did not go our way."
It was the first meeting between the teams since the playoffs when the Cavs ousted Washington, but the Wizards nearly pulled off the upset.
LeBron James drove to his left and hung in the air for a second to bang the ball off the glass and in, giving the Cavs an 80-79 edge with 4:13 remaining.
Mike James, though, canned a jumper and then converted a three-point play for an 84-80 Wizards lead. Jamison sank a runner in the lane for a six-point difference.
Jamison's three-ball with 1:40 left had the margin at 89-82, but the Cavaliers rallied as LeBron James hit three at the charity stripe after being fouled on a long-distance shot. Jamison became irate after being whistled for an offensive foul for plowing over LeBron James at the other end.
Williams responded with a three-pointer from the left wing with 1:02 remaining, and when Jamison missed a scoop shot in the lane, the Cavs got the rebound and called timeout with 37.9 seconds left.
West was off the mark on a three-point try, but Varejao got position under the basket and drew a foul on Jamison. Varejao made both from the line for a 90-89 edge, and Cleveland's defense stepped up again when Caron Butler bowled over Ben Wallace for an offensive foul.
"Sometimes when you are down, you almost have to play a perfect game, especially at that time when you can't leave the game into the referees' hands," said Mike James. "The decision is probably always going to go with the team that has the momentum. It's a tough loss and a hard pill to swallow."
Williams drained two foul shots with 7.8 seconds left and Mike James' tying shot attempt caromed off the front of the rim. West made one free throw with 3.3 seconds left to conclude the remarkable run and seal the win.
"We didn't shoot the ball particularly well and they played well today," said Williams. "We talk about it all the time; we got our stops down the stretch. They made plays, that's why the game was still close in the end. I think that our free throws were big."
The Wizards led 12-2 early, but only held a 25-22 advantage going to the second quarter. Cleveland led by as many as eight in the second before settling for a 49-47 edge at the half. It was tight throughout the third, but Washington carried a 71-68 lead going to the fourth.
Washington hosts Oklahoma City on Saturday, while Cleveland's next game is Sunday in Ohio against the Heat, the first of a home-and-home series...The Cavs are the first team in the league to win their first 15 home games since the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (37 games) and 1995-96 Orlando Magic (33 games)...Dominic McGuire had 11 rebounds and a career-best seven assists for Washington...Butler had 10 assists, while Andray Blatche scored 12 for the Wizards.
12/26 01:55:44 ET