The Cleveland Cavaliers suffered their first home loss of the season against the Wizards on Tuesday and star LeBron James admitted after the game that Washington beat the Cavs in "every facet of the game." Timofey Mozgov has been struggling lately, but the team is expected to get a boost soon, as Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert are reportedly close to returning from injuries.
The Cavaliers remain the top team in the eastern conference, but the Wizards dominated Cleveland on Tuesday night, handing the team its first loss at Quicken Loans Arena this season. The Wizards won the game 97-85 and Washington did not trail at all in the game after opening the first quarter on a 10-0 run. The Cavaliers are now 9-1 at home this season and according to ESPN.com, LeBron James was disappointed with the effort of the Cavs, saying that Washington "beat us from the beginning to the end."
John Wall had his best game of the season with 35 points against the Cavaliers, while James had 24 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in the defeat. James has criticized the play of the Cavaliers a few times early in the season, commenting that the Warriors appear to be more determined to win despite already taking the championship over Cleveland last season. James has tried to light a spark under his team over the past couple weeks and he may try and push them again after this loss.
The Cavs remain one of the best teams in the league through a month of the season and the team could get even better over the next month once players return from injuries. Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert have not played for the Cavs this season, but both players are getting close to coming back for Cleveland. According to Chris Haynes at Cleveland.com, Irving has started to practice with the team in a limited capacity and there is an expectation that the point guard could return by Christmas or soon after that.
Irving is coming back from a knee injury suffered against the Warriors in the NBA finals last season and he still does not yet have an official date to return. Sam Amico reports that Irving has been "playing some 4-on-4 and that the point guard said "practice is great" and he is "getting up and down floor with the guys" as he recovers from his knee injury. Shumpert is coming back from a wrist injury and Haynes reports that a mid-December return is possible for the guard.
Mozgov has been struggling a bit lately and Haynes wrote after the game on Tuesday that the "pressure may be too much" for the center. Haynes writes that Mozgov being in a contract year coupled with the fact that the Cavaliers have expectations of winning could be affecting how the center is playing.