Cleveland (15-59) at Washington (18-56)

By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN, STATS Senior Writer Thursday, Mar 31, 2011 Tipoff: 7:00 pm EDT Fri Apr 1, 2011

The last time the Washington Wizards met the Cleveland Cavaliers, they ended their 25-game road losing streak to start the season.

The Wizards, though, will be without two players who keyed that victory when they host the Cavaliers on Friday night.

Washington (18-56) evened the season series at 1-all with a 115-100 win at Cleveland on Feb. 13, as Nick Young(notes) scored 31 points and John Wall(notes) had 19 and 14 assists.

Young, however, has missed the last two games with a left knee injury. He said Thursday that he won’t return until next week.

Wall, meanwhile, is suspended for this game after being ejected in the second quarter of a 123-107 loss to Miami on Wednesday. The Wizards rookie was guarding 7-foot-3 center Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes), who appeared to elbow Wall in the face at least once. Wall responded by swinging his right hand at Ilgauskas.

“Got hit by the elbow and reacted to it. Disappointed in the way I reacted. I let my teammates down, let the organization down,” Wall said. “It was two elbows. I got hit with the first one; I stopped and waited. And the second one, I got hit, and I just reacted.”

Wall finished with two points and five assists after averaging 22.8 and 8.8 over his previous four games.

Another rookie, Jordan Crawford(notes), responded with a season-high 39 points. Crawford is averaging 22.7 points while starting the last nine games.

“Jordan continues to impress and amaze,” coach Flip Saunders said. “Whatever you ask him to do, whatever responsibility, he has no fear.”

Cleveland (15-59) is the NBA’s second-worst shooting team at 43.1 percent, although it is hard to tell by its last two games.

Two of the Cavaliers’ best three shooting performances have been in that span. They shot a season-best 55.6 percent in a 102-90 win over Miami on Tuesday before finishing at 52.2 percent in Wednesday’s 98-97 loss at Charlotte.

“I told the guys after the game (Tuesday) night that we’ve won, it’s been a pretty good game, but we would come out flat the next game,” coach Byron Scott said. “We didn’t do that. We competed a lot better.”

J.J. Hickson(notes) has totaled 41 points and 19 rebounds in the past two games and the Cavs’ bench has also been effective with 70 points.

Hickson could find things difficult inside against a Wizards team that leads the NBA with 6.0 blocks per game. Washington center JaVale McGee(notes) is averaging 4.0 blocks over his last 10 games.

Cleveland is 5-31 on the road, with one of those victories coming against Washington on Nov. 6.

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