NBA: Lauri Markkanen scores 23, Cleveland Cavaliers rally past Washington Wizards, 92-86
- Markkanen made three free throws to put Cleveland in front 50-49
- Rondo was hurt Thursday in Detroit and will miss two weeks
- Cedi Osman scored 19 points off the bench and Mobley had 14 points and 11 rebounds
Lauri Markkanen scored 23 points and All-Star centre Jarrett Allen had 18 points and 14 rebounds in rallying the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 92-86 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.
Washington matched the largest lead of the game at 84-75 on Daniel Gafford's follow shot with 6:39 remaining, but Cleveland answered with 12 straight points, capped by two free throws by Allen to pull in front for good.
Kyle Kuzma made a career-high eight 3-pointers and scored 34 points for Washington, which was held scoreless for nearly 5 1/2 minutes during the Cavaliers’ comeback. Kuzma’s jumper with 1:11 left pulled the Wizards within 87-86, but they missed their final four shots.
Allen, Brandon Goodwin and rookie Evan Mobley made five free throws in the last 30 seconds to complete the victory, ending Cleveland’s three-game losing streak.
Cedi Osman scored 19 points off the bench and Mobley had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers. They were severely depleted in the backcourt with All-Star point guard Darius Garland, backup Rajon Rondo and shooting guard Caris LeVert all injured.
Kuzma grabbed 13 rebounds, Gafford had 14 points and seven boards, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 13 points. Washington, which completed a back-to-back set after losing to San Antonio 157-153 in double-overtime Friday, is 4-12 since Jan. 19.
Garland (lower back soreness) missed his second straight game and seventh overall with the ailment as the Cavaliers attempt to manage his condition.
Rondo (right big toe sprain) was hurt Thursday in Detroit and will miss two weeks, while LeVert (right foot sprain) is out 1-2 weeks after stepping on a teammate’s foot at practice.
Markkanen made three free throws to put Cleveland in front 50-49 early in the third quarter, but the Wizards answered with nine straight points, including Kuzma’s sixth 3-pointer.
Wizards: C Thomas Bryant, who missed the first 41 games after tearing his left ACL last season, was on a 15-18 minute restriction on the second night of a back-to-back set. … F Deni Avdija has played in all 60 games. … F Kristaps Porzingis (right knee bone bruise) and two-way G Joel Ayayi were inactive. G Bradley Beal (left wrist surgery) is out for the season.
Cavaliers: F Dylan Windler is on a G League assignment with the Cleveland Charge. The No. 26 overall pick in 2019 has only logged 93 seconds over the Cavaliers’ last six games. … LeVert is averaging 13.3 points and 3.8 assists in four games since being acquired from Indiana on Feb. 7. … G Collin Sexton (left knee surgery) is out for the season.
Wizards: Host Detroit on Tuesday night.
Cavaliers: Host Minnesota on Monday night.