The Cleveland Cavaliers are 1-0 in the post-Chris Grant era.
Just 24 hours after the team and owner Dan Gilbert fired their GM, the Cavs snapped a 6-game losing streak with a come-from-behind, 115-113 win over the playoff bound Washington Wizards. Kyrie Irving scored 23 points on just 11 field goal attempts, and in the process, dished out a career-high 12 assists to facilitate the Cleveland offense. He was also flanked by a nice night from the enigmatic Dion Waiters, who emerged from the bench to score 24 points on 11-for-18 shooting in just 32 minutes.
On the Washington side, it was a massive night from All-Star point guard John Wall with 32 points and 10 assists, but the Wizards simply couldn’t slow down the slump-busting Cavs. As a team, Cleveland shot 52% from the field and 40% from three, and while they allowed Washington to shoot similar numbers (51% FG, 55% 3-PT), they made enough plays to outlast the far better team on paper.
The biggest culprit (other than efficient offense) for Cleveland’s win was that they were able to dominate the glass (45-34) even in their opponent’s home building. This is huge simply because Cleveland has been docked for a lack of urgency in recent weeks, and if the Cavs, who do have some talent, can play with more fervor, their record should improve in kind.