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Wizards can't keep up with Cavaliers

Al Thornton (14) drives to the basket to score two of his team-high 23 points.
Al Thornton (14) drives to the basket to score two of his team-high 23 points. (Jonathan Newton/the Washington Post)
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Thornton said it was tough to sit the entire fourth period.

"Of course, I was a little frustrated, that I had it going, pretty much the whole game, and not to be subbed back in the game. It was frustration, but people make mistakes, and you just have to move forward. No hard feelings," he said. "We talked about it, and he apologized for it. He just made a mistake, but at the end of the day, for the most part, it was looking good out there for us. The guys they had in there was flowing."

In just his second game after missing the first three with a strained tendon in his right ankle, Arenas had an uneven performance with 13 points on just 4-of-13 shooting. He had two bad turnovers in the first half, including a cross-court pass that knocked over a beer in the front row. Arenas couldn't help but laugh as he backpedaled on defense.

He returned to help the Wizards seemingly take control midway in the fourth. He broke an 83-all tie with a three-pointer, and later blocked a shot, hit a jumper, then completed a textbook fast break when he found a trailing Blatche cutting to the basket for a dunk that put the team ahead, 90-85, with 5:12 remaining.

But Arenas started to lose steam late. After Gibson put the Cavaliers ahead, 100-95, with a three-pointer, Arenas lost a dribble that nearly went out of bounds.

Hinrich had to track it down near half court and heave the ball before the Wizards got a shot-clock violation.

"It was a point in the fourth quarter, I should've subbed myself out for Al. Al had it going on," Arenas said. "I didn't want take away from what the team has been doing. I have been out for the last month. I'm trying to get my legs under me and get in shape."

Said Saunders: "It was a tough situation. If we had won the game, it would've been great playing them. We didn't win it, and I question myself. I questioned myself the last three minutes, not having Al in there."

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