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Irving's 26 leads Cavaliers over Wizards 87-84

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm •  Published: December 26, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's already been a long season for the Cleveland Cavaliers and an even longer one for the Washington Wizards.

On Wednesday night, the Cavaliers, who improved to 7-23, outlasted the Wizards, 87-84.

Washington, which has lost eight straight, fell to a horrifying 3-23.

Cleveland has its first two-game winning streak of the season. Two of the Cavaliers' seven wins have come against the woeful Wizards.

"I should be a lot happier than I am, I guess," Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. "But some of the boneheaded mistakes that we made, some of the fouls, some of the things we did on the defensive end to allow them to have some of the shots that they had especially toward the end — we've just got to be a little bit smarter when the game's on the line like that."

The Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving had 26 points — 20 in the first half. He missed nine of his 10 field goals attempts in the second half, and four of six free throws in the fourth quarter.

"Oh, man, I started thinking too much," Irving said. "After I missed my first two, I moved back on the free throw line a little bit, tried some different things. It just wouldn't fall. It was frustrating. I'm glad it's behind me and we got this win."

Tristan Thompson's three-point play with 24.4 seconds remaining put Cleveland ahead. Irving made one of two free throws with 9.5 seconds left after Jordan Crawford and Garrett Temple missed jumpers for the Wizards. Crawford made two free throws with 8.5 seconds left to cut the lead to 86-84. Irving hit one of two, and Crawford missed a 3-pointer as time ran out.

"We were able to sneak one out tonight," said Thompson had a season-high 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Crawford and Emeka Okafor led the Wizards with 17 points. Nene had 16.

Washington took a 79-73 lead with 6:20 to play, but Cleveland scored nine straight points to take an 82-79 lead with 3:37 left.

The Wizards were held scoreless for 4 1-2 minutes until Okafor hit a hook shot with 1:50 to play to cut the Cavaliers' lead to 82-81. Irving missed two free throws with 1:01 to play, and Okafor hit one of two with 46.2 seconds to play for an 82-all tie.

Washington had four turnovers in the last 5 minutes.

"We turned the ball over at crucial times. We won't commit — all of us — won't commit to playing defense. We make too many critical mistakes because we're just not alert down the stretch." coach Randy Wittman said.

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