Lebron shines at power forward as Cavs down Wizards

Fri Mar 4, 2016 11:57pm EST
 
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(The Sports Xchange) - LeBron James had 19 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists while making his first start at power forward and Kyrie Irving had 21 points and eight assists in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 108-83 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

The Cavs shuffled their lineup again in what could be a significant step toward the postseason. Iman Shumpert started in place of Kevin Love, who was resting.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue indicated, however, Shumpert's move into the lineup is long term. When Love returns Saturday night against the Boston Celtics, he will likely be at center. The Cavs have used the three-guard look to close games before; now they're going to start with it.

John Wall had 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Wizards, whose four-game winning streak was snapped. Markieff Morris had 13 points and five assists and Bradley Beal had 11 points off the bench.

The Wizards committed 16 turnovers, trailed by 18 in the first half and by as many as 30 in the fourth quarter.

It was a stark reversal from last weekend when the Wizards led the Cavs by 30 in the fourth quarter at home. Their streak of scoring at least 100 points in six consecutive games also ended.

Timofey Mozgov had 14 points and five rebounds in what could be his final start for a while and Matthew Dellavedova had 12 points off the bench for the Cavs.

James was active across the floor in his first game in the post. He was 7 of 18 from the field but was credited with three of the Cavs' nine steals despite sitting out the fourth quarter.

James has long resisted a move to full-time power forward and reiterated again just a couple of weeks ago that he views himself as a wing player.

However, it was about this time last season he began shifting more into the post in preparation of a playoff run. It appears to be happening again.

 
Mar 4, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives on Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris (5) during the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports