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Cavaliers vs. Wizards: Score, Highlights, Reaction from 2017 Regular Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 6: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots the tie-winning shot during the game against the Washington Wizards on February 6, 2017 at Verizon Center in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers outlasted the Washington Wizards in a dramatic 140-135 overtime game Monday.

After a set of back-and-forth plays in the final minutes of regulation, LeBron James sent the game to overtime with an incredible three-pointer with just 0.3 seconds remaining, as the Cavs' official Twitter account shared:

Cleveland Cavaliers @cavs

TOUCHDOWN. https://t.co/GDUgX4a1n6

Kyrie Irving's three-pointer in the final minute of overtime proved to be the game-winner:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Warriors fans having flashbacks #UncleDrew https://t.co/7IEnvzhACf

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports summed up his thoughts on the game:

Gary Parrish @GaryParrishCBS

It might be the best game in the history of everything. https://t.co/BV2wHXVdEj

The Cavaliers (35-15), first place in the Eastern Conference, snapped the Wizards' 17-game home winning streak and seven-game winning streak overall. Washington fell to 30-21.

James totaled 32 points and a career-high 17 assists while shooting 6-of-8 from three-point range. Kevin Love was as effective as ever, with 39 points and 12 rebounds on 11-of-17 shooting.

Though Irving was relatively quiet for much of the game, he scored 11 points in overtime and finished with 23 points and five assists.

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Bradley Beal was the star for Washington with 41 points and eight assists on 16-of-28 shooting. John Wall came through with 22 points and 12 assists, plus a handful of big shots down the stretch, but it was not enough to secure what would have been the biggest win of the season for Washington.

Monday's matchup lived up to expectations from the start, with two of the best teams in the East battling for supremacy.

The Cavs jumped out to a seven-point lead in the first four minutes, but the Wizards bounced back to go up 32-26 by the end of the first quarter.

Otto Porter, who finished with 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-7 from three, helped lead the Wizards to a 57-54 advantage at the end of the first half, as Candace Buckner of the Washington Post described:

Candace Buckner @CandaceDBuckner

Halftime: #Wizards up 57-54. Otto Porter on that 'can't-miss' trend again - 5 for 5 (3 for 3 from arc) for 13 pts. But Beal leads all w/ 16

As well as the role players performed early, the second half was all about the stars, with both teams relying on just a couple of guys to make big plays.

Beal continued his strong effort with an impressive step-back jumper, as the NBA shared:

NBA @NBA

Shoot your shot, Mr. Beal. #DCFamily https://t.co/bf7tml6YIr

Despite the home team's effort, the Cavaliers took an 86-82 lead into the fourth quarter and continued to maintain control.

Grant Hill of Turner Sports described Love's effort:

TurnerSportsPR @TurnerSportsPR

"Kevin Love taking advantage of the match-ups." - @realgranthill33 on the All-Star, who has 28 pts & 9 rebounds, CLE 101 WAS 96 w/ 6:00 left

The two sides then traded baskets in an incredible flurry over the final few minutes of regulation. Three straight three-pointers by James helped the Cavaliers keep pace and tie the game at 110 with less than three minutes remaining.

With the Wizards down 117-116, Wall missed a potential go-ahead layup, but Markieff Morris was there for the putback. After James missed a layup, Washington took a 120-117 lead on two Wall free throws with 3.4 seconds on the clock.

Of course, James stepped up with an incredible game-tying shot. Those watching, including NBA.com's David Aldridge and the New York Daily News' Frank Isola, reacted accordingly:

David Aldridge @daldridgetnt

This is unreal.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Yup. Us too. https://t.co/tRavFAMS4y

James fouled out less than a minute into overtime, and shots like this one by Wall gave the home team the lead late, via NBA on TNT:

NBA on TNT @NBAonTNT

#JohnWall w/ the AND-1! https://t.co/T1uQvMKmHq

Irving, however, broke a 133-133 tie with 35 seconds to play, and Beal missed a potential game-tying three with less than five seconds on the clock. Love secured the rebound and made two free throws to clinch the victory.

The Cavaliers will continue their road trip Wednesday with a game against the Indiana Pacers and then face the Oklahoma City Thunder a day later. Following Monday's drama, it might be difficult to get up emotionally for those games.

The Wizards will try to keep the same intensity when they visit the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

         

Postgame Reaction

Washington was in high spirits after the game.

"That was an instant classic—a great basketball game between two great teams," Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said, per the team's Twitter account. "Unfortunately, we came up just short."

Said Wall: "That was a playoff atmosphere. Our fans were tremendous. They gave us everything they had."

Meanwhile, Cleveland was forced to discuss a report by Isola that James is pushing for Love to be traded to the New York Knicks for Carmelo Anthony.

James called it "trash," per Tom Withers of the Associated Press, while head coach Tyronn Lue also gave his thoughts:

Jeff Zillgitt @JeffZillgitt

Ty Lue on Kevin Love: "We're going to trade him tonight. 39 and 12, yeah we're going to trade him." Facetious.

Dave McMenamin @mcten

Ty Lue on the trade rumors: "Kevin (Love) should be happy that teams want him, but he's not going anywhere"

The team looked pretty good as assembled Monday.

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