John Wall scored 37 points, Bradley Beal added 27 and the Washington Wizards began a challenging road trip by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-115 on Saturday night. Wall scored 18 in the first quarter when the Wizards shot 82 percent, and Washington held on down the stretch to avenge an overtime loss to the NBA champions last month. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, playing at home for the only time in a seven-game stretch.
A statue of Shaquille O’Neal was unveiled at Staples Center Friday, and many Lakers greats showed up for the ceremony — including former nemesis Kobe Bryant. However, even while O’Neal entertained the crowd with his familiar lightheartedness, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stole the show with some well-aimed barbs. This zinger was the showstopper: “Some people thought the odds of Kobe Bryant showing up today were the same as Shaq sinking a free throw.” Bryant and O’Neal, of course, infamously did not get along even while leading the Lakers to three straight championships between 2000 and 2002. However, they have mostly healed their relationship over time, and Bryant complimented his former teammate Friday.
CLEVELAND -- Before Saturday's game tipped off, Scott Brooks didn't care much about the pats on the back his team received for losing on Feb. 6 at Verizon Center, ending a 17-game home winning streak. The only validation that matters is winning in the second game of a back-to-back. "You have to go out there and play well every night. It's one thing to have a great game against the best team in the league and lose. Of course they're going to say great things about you," Brooks said of that 140-135 overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. "It doesn't mean anything. That last game means nothing." After trailing 8-7, the Wizards (45-28) led by as many as 17 points and dominated the defending champs