WATCH: John Wall and Kyrie Irving Duel in D.C.

by February 29, 2016

LeBron James had a day off to rest his weary body, so it was up to Kyrie Irving to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers into battle Sunday against John Wall’s Washington Wizards.

Wall finished with 21 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds in the 113-99 win; Irving posted a game-high 28 points to go along with six dimes.

Afterwards, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue and J.R. Smith ripped their team’s effort in the loss.

Per the Akron Beacon Journal:

It was exactly a week ago that the Cavaliers were celebrating perhaps their finest win of the season. They dismantled the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road and finally looked like the team their talent and payroll indicates they should have been all along. […] Since then they struggled terribly in a home loss to the Pistons, blew a nine-point lead in the last six minutes to lose at Toronto and then never bothered to show up for Sunday’s loss to the Wizards. That five-game winning streak, that included the stomping of the Thunder, has given way to losing three of four in spectacularly mediocre fashion.


“We can’t play basketball like this going down the stretch,” said J.R. Smith, the lone voice of truth and reason in a locker room of denial. “If we’re serious about who we’re supposed to be then we can’t do this.”


The late collapse not withstanding, Tyronn Lue insisted he was encouraged by the Toronto game because the Cavs were in command despite Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving not shooting well. Love had little explanation for how the Cavs could’ve played so badly. Smith, meanwhile, was blunt and transparent. […] “If you lose a game like the other night to a team like Toronto and come out here and play the way we did and you had a lack of energy, maybe we shouldn’t be in this position,” he said. “I don’t know. It’s tough. If we’re going to play with a lack of energy after losing a game on the road and come out and play the way we did today then we shouldn’t be who we are and be in these uniforms.”