Following yet another LeBeast night, in which LeBron James posted a respectable stat line in just the final six minutes of the game (13 points, four rebounds, three assists for a 16-point comeback), the Cavs have advanced to a 49-30 record for the season.
James is also the only player in National Basketball Association history to average at least 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for their career. And this winning streak has been desperately needed, too, because the Philadelphia 76ers are on some kind of tear, having won 12 games in a row to tie Cleveland for the No. 3 seed in the east. Tomas Satoransky will once again start in Wall's place. They boast the longest active winning streak in the National Basketball Association at 12 consecutive games, a run that's tied for fourth-longest in franchise history, and one that's continued on in spite of the absences of Embiid and Saric.
Then, James took matters into his own hands with a fall-away three-pointer and three consecutive driving layups over the next 90 seconds, which cut the Washington lead down to six points, 110-104, with 2:53 to play in the fourth quarter. Around two days later, James' first-person essay in Sports Illustrated served as the public announcement of his move back to Cleveland. But he had a costly turnover in the closing seconds and the Wizards couldn't put away the Cavs down the stretch.More news: Pep Guardiola Asks for His Fans Help vs United in Manchester Derby
Nonetheless, he's on the verge of turning 34 years old, while Kyle Korver, JR Smith, Jose Calderon, Jeff Green and George Hill are no teenagers, so he needs to find a team that's able to surround him with young talents to make his career last as long as he hopes it does.
James is entirely focussed on getting to the NBA Finals for an eighth straight year at the moment, meaning contract talks are on hold until he has yet another Championship ring to add to his bulging trophy cabinet, or the Cavs' season ends in disappointment.
"It's been like four seasons into one", James said. Unfortunately, Hayward went down in the first game of the season (versus the Cavaliers) with a gruesome lower leg injury, and Irving is now done for the season due to knee surgery. "They've been playing some good ball".
In addition to featuring a great match-up between two of the league's marquee players, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis, this is an important game for the Pelicans, who could still miss the playoffs with a slight stumble in the final week. Things only got worse in the third, as Cleveland was outscored 64-43 over the middle quarters yet somehow found a way to win.