Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith expressed frustration with his team’s recent play, calling the 113–99 loss to the Washington Wizards on Sunday a “reality check,” reports Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
The Cavaliers trailed by as much as 30 in the lopsided loss, and playing without star LeBron James, who was given the day off by coach Tyronn Lue, was not used as an excuse for the poor performance.
"We can't do that. If we're serious about who we're supposed to be, then we can't do this," Smith said of the loss.
Cleveland came into the game following a 99–97 loss to the second-place Toronto Raptors on Saturday, and now hold just a 1 1/2 game lead in the East.
At one point in the third quarter, with the Cavaliers trailing by 19, Lue benched Smith, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson.
“Stars didn't give the effort we wanted or needed, so we got them out and brought the other guys in,” Lue said.
For the Wizards, the win brings their record to 28–30 and puts them two games back of the Chicago Bulls for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference standings.