WASHINGTON (AP) — After four decades as a college coach, John Beilein is eight games into his first NBA season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and on Friday night, he recorded his first win on the road.
Tristan Thompson had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Kevin Love added 16 points and 12 boards, and the Cavaliers beat the Washington Wizards 113-100 to end a three-game skid.
Seven Cavaliers scored at least 10 points as Cleveland improved to 3-5.
“It’s always great to get a road win,” Beilein said. “I don’t care what type of team you have. They guys needed it. When you win somewhere else, it’s always special.”
Thomas Bryant led Washington with 23 points. Rui Hachimura scored 21 and Bradley Beal had 20 while the Wizards fell to 2-6.
“We didn’t defend,” Beal said. “That’s what happened.”
Collin Sexton also had 16 points for Cleveland, and rookies Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. had career highs with 15 and 13, respectively.
Cleveland led throughout and used an 11-0 run to take a 41-28 lead with 9:19 remaining in the second quarter. The lead grew to 20, but thanks to Hachimura’s 15 points on 7 for 7 from the field, Washington cut the lead to 67-52 at the half.
Cleveland’s 10-0 run put them ahead 77-56 early in the third, but the Wizards outscored them 28-11 and trailed by just 88-84 entering the fourth quarter
Washington closed to 91-90 on Moe Wagner’s layup with 9:39 to play, but Cleveland outscored Washington 22-10 the rest of the way. Thompson had three key baskets in the last two minutes.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks, who was assessed a technical foul for the second straight game, felt the key to the game was Cleveland’s attempting 29 free throws to Washington’s six.
“It’s hard to overcome,” Brooks said.
Brooks wouldn’t explicitly criticize the officiating.