January 6, 2016 – Verizon Center, Washington, DC
For 5 years now, the dominion of the Eastern Conference has been ruled by King James. Though his castle has changed cities, the throne has remained his. Year after year, night after night, new threats emerge and new uprisings begin from every city within his realm.
In DC, the rebellious Wizards led by John Wall revolted last night against the King, but like so many others, their DC uprising was thwarted.
The strategy of Wall’s crew was clear from the outset: Attack, attack, attack! The Wizards pushed the tempo at every opportunity. Blatant thievery led to this early Wall hammer strike:
And Wall followed with his own supernatural Wizardry soon after:
But while their attack was constant, creating 12 first quarter fast break points, Cleveland found points of weakness: They grabbed 7 first quarter offensive rebounds and locked in to favorable 1-on-1 duels (they had ZERO first quarter assists) to maintain a tie at 24 after one.
Facing a stern test of resolve in DC, Cleveland released their flame thrower in the 2nd quarter. JR Smith. And throw fire, JR Smith did. He hit 3 of 5 threes in the 2nd quarter, finishing with 15 first half points, and helped give the Cavs a 62-50 half time lead.
And as the horn sounded to start the third quarter, King James himself emerged, armed with flaming three-pointed arrows and this royal hammer:
But the Wizards combated LeBron’s four early threes with a flaming barrage of their own. As a team, the Wizards would hit 8/11 threes in the quarter, led by an unexpected hero, Garrett Temple, who rose from his peasant ranks to match LeBron’s fourteen third quarter points with fourteen of his own. An inspired Wizards rebellion found new life, and a Ramon Sessions dunk early in the 4th tied the game at 95, and awoke the entire army housed within the Verizon Center.
But with the King’s onslaught failing to prove fatal, Cleveland unleashed a final, deadly, and vicious executioner.
Wielding an orange leather mace with ruthless aggression, Kyrie Irving delivered majestic strike after majestic strike. Spectacular lay ups. Step back jumpers. Threes. Kyrie executed each with ease and precision, his 19 fourth quarter points crushing the Wizards rebellion.
LeBron James has many battles left to fight in his war to keep the title of “King in the East,” but he leaves the Battle at Verizon with a 121-116 victory.
For now, DCs regicide will have to wait.