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The best team in the Eastern Conference and the League (61-14) played the worst team in the Eastern Conference (18-59) on Thursday night. The results were not what anyone would expect. The Wizards came to the game with more energy and defeated the Cavaliers (109-101).
The Wizards were the healthiest they had been all season. For the first time this season the Wizards had Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood in the starting lineup. It was the second game of the year for both. The Wizards fed off a sellout crowd Thursday night and ended the franchise-record 13-game winning streak of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers are 0-2 this season at the Verizon center. The Cavaliers have lost four straight and eight of nine in Washington. Also, only two teams have two wins against the Cavaliers so far this season, The Lakers, Celtics, and now the Wizards.
“The Wizards are all too familiar with LeBron James and the Cavaliers. People unfamiliar with this rivalry probably can’t fathom how a team that trails Cleveland by 44 games in the standings can play them so competitively” Michael Lee of the Washington Post said. “Well, it’s history. As interim Coach Ed Tapscott said afterward, the Wizards get fired up to play Cleveland like no other team in the league.”
“No matter when we play, if we have three players, 12 players, when we have to play Cleveland, we get up for it,” Arenas said. “It’s been a rivalry since Larry Hughes decided to go there. It’s always going to be a good game.”
“Every team that we’ve played for some odd reason everyone is healthy, then it seems like you watch a few games later and four of their guys are out,” James said. “Everyone wants to put on a show and play their best when they play us.”
James on “60 Minutes” update:
James’ appearance on “60 Minutes” on Sunday was the highest rated segment of the CBS newsmagazine. It drew a 10.7 rating (17,354,000 viewers), a rating 26 percent higher than the rest of the show (8.5 rating), according to Nielsen Media Research.