Cavs, Wizards tussle in Washington

( - A possible playoff preview in on tap Friday in the nation's capital, as the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers clash at the Verizon Center.

The Wizards are fourth in the Eastern Conference, just a half-game ahead of the Cavaliers, and look to come out of the All-Star break on a high note.

Washington has lost eight of its last 12 games and had a two-game win streak stopped with last Wednesday's 95-93 setback at Toronto. DeMar DeRozan's jumper with 12.9 seconds remaining lifted the Raptors to victory and sent Washington to its fourth straight road loss.

John Wall posted 21 points and eight assists to lead Washington. Paul Pierce and Nene finished with 17 and 14 points, respectively, in defeat.

"Each one of us made some simple and small mistakes," Wizards center Marcin Gortat said.

The Wizards announced prior to the game that guard Bradley Beal is dealing with a stress reaction in his lower right leg and will be re-evaluated following the All-Star break. Beal missed a third straight game.

Washington, which is 20-8 at home and will visit Detroit on Sunday, made a deal prior to Thursday's deadline and acquired Ramon Sessions from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Andre Miller.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers headed to the All-Star break on a losing note and dropped a 113-98 decision at Chicago last Thursday.

All-Star LeBron James scored a game-high 31 points, but committed eight of Cleveland's 16 turnovers. Fellow All-Star Kyrie Irving added 17 points, seven assists and six boards, but the Cavs nevertheless fell for just the second time in the last 16 games.

"We played from behind a lot," James said. "All (the turnovers) were pretty much my fault."

The Cavs are 12-13 on the road and will also visit New York and Detroit on this four-game trip. Cleveland has lost two in a row on the road.

Cleveland and Washington have split two meetings this season and will square off again April 15. The Cavs and Wizards have split the past six games, but Cleveland is 6-3 in the previous nine encounters.