WASHINGTON (AP) — Dion Waiters scored 24 points and Kyrie Irving had 23 points and tied a career high with 12 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers broke their six-game skid with a 115-113 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
The Cavaliers played without their second leading scorer, Luol Deng, who was out with flu-like symptoms. Irving missed Friday’s shootaround because of illness, but managed to hit all 13 free throws he attempted.
John Wall led Washington with 32 points and 10 assists. The Wizards trailed by 14 early in the fourth quarter. Wall led a late charge with nine points in the game’s last two minutes. Martell Webster the second of two late 3-pointers with 2.9 seconds to go to cut the lead to 115-113.
Cleveland’s Jarrett Jack missed two free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining. A scramble resulted with the Wizards getting possession with 0.2 seconds left, but couldn’t get off a final shot.
C.J. Miles had 18 points for the Cavaliers.
Marcin Gortat had 19 and Webster 18 for Washington.
It was the first game for Cleveland following Thursday’s dismissal of general manager Chris Grant.
The Wizards fell to 24-25. It’s the 12th time they’re one game under .500 this season. Washington was one game over .500 after Monday’s win against Portland for the first time since Oct. 31, 2009, but they lost in double overtime to San Antonio on Wednesday.
In a high-octane first quarter, the Wizards led 38-32. Washington shot 65.9 percent and Cleveland 60.9 percent.
The hot shooting continued in the second quarter as the Cavaliers led 67-63 at halftime. Irving hit four free throws just before halftime to put Cleveland ahead for good
The Cavaliers increased their lead to 93-85 after three.
Grant came under fire after he chose Anthony Bennett with the first overall pick last June. Bennett has struggled in his first months with Cleveland, though coach Mike Brown, a longtime friend of Grant’s, defended Bennett before Friday’s game, saying he’s shown great improvement recently.
Bennett had eight points.
NOTES: Cleveland’s Alonzo Gee had a season-high 11 points. . Wall addressed the fans before the game, thanking them for their support in All-Star Game voting. The fourth-year guard will play in the Feb. 16 game in New Orleans for the first time. .Washington F Al Harrington hasn’t played since Nov. 12 because of right knee surgery. Coach Randy Wittman said he thinks Harrington will play again this season, but wouldn’t put a timetable on it.