Kyrie Irivng was simply too much for the Wizards on Saturday night as he seemingly single-handedly willed the Cavs to an OT victory on Saturday night at Verizon Center, 103-96. Irving finished with 41 on 14/28 shooting for the night, including 18 in the 4th quarter and OT. The Wizards had a 15 point lead in the second quarter but the Cavs had cut it to five by halftime and it was close the entire second half. At the end of regulation, Nene had the chance to give the Wizards the lead but only hit one of two free throws which left the game tied at 90. Irving then had a chance to win it but Nene poked the ball free from him as he drove to the hoop and the game went to OT. In OT it was all Irving as he scored 9 of the Cavs 13 points and the Wizards couldn't find any rhythm on offense. Bradley Beal finished with 28 to lead the Wizards, Nene had 24 and Gortat had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. - Jacob Raim
We just heard from Randy Wittman for his pregame media availability and he indicated that Trevor Ariza would in fact be out for tonight's game with a hamstring injury. He did not however rule out Al Harrington, who said yesterday that he was unlikely to play tonight with a sore knee. He's scheduled to be re-evaluated on Monday.
With Ariza out, Martell Webster will step into the starting role, something he was familiar with last season. He excelled playing with the first unit and did so again on Wednesday night in San Antonio, when he was called upon after Ariza left in the second quarter with that hamstring strain. He finished the game with a team-high 21 points and 10 boards.
The real question will come after Webster and with the second unit. If Harrington is unable to go, that means the Wizards will be without four of their wing players (Ariza, Harrington, Porter, and Singleton), which means they'll likely call on either Glen Rice Jr. or Garrett Temple to step in and play a smaller lineup at times. They could also go bigger and play Trevor Booker or Jan Vesely out on the wing, though they usually like to have at least three shooters on the floor at all times.
Witt will have to get creative with that second unit, so we'll wait and see which combinations he uses tonight.
For the Cavs, Andrew Bynum will rejoin the team tonight and start at center. Dion Waiters did not make the trip and will be out with the flu.
The Cavs are coming off a home loss last night against the Charlotte Bobcats, while the Wizards had two days of rest before tonight's contest. The Wizards went 0-3 on their most recent west coast trip and look to get back on track with a win tonight at home.
There are a lot of top draft picks from the last few NBA drafts in tonight's game, none more highlighted than John Wall and Kyrie Irving. Both were #1 draft picks and both are now looked upon to lead their team to the playoffs. Because of injuries, this is only the second time they will get to play each other in a regular season game (Irving did play 9 minutes in the 2012 season finale).
The Live Chat kicks off at 7 tonight at Verizon Center!