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JR Smith.

JR Smith has words of warning for Cavaliers after Wizards defeat

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The Cleveland Cavaliers' Sunday night loss to the Washington Wizards was the second time in three days that the Eastern Conference-topping franchise had tasted defeat.

After falling short against the Toronto Raptors on Friday, a LeBron James-less Cavs team lost 113-99 on the road in Washington last night.

Warning

Although Cleveland remains out in front in the East, the two game slump may well concern their fans as we approach the business end of the season. It certainly doesn't sit well with one member of their roster, JR Smith.

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Speaking after the Verizon Center defeat, the former Knicks star had some words of warning for the team:

"If we're going to play with a lack of energy...and come out and play the way we did today, we shouldn't be who we are and be in these uniforms," said Smith, via USA Today.

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"We can't play basketball like this going down the stretch," the 30-year-old continued.

"You talk about contending or being a championship contender and you're blown out...and get thrashed, make it look good at the end. 

"We can't do that. If we're serious about who we're supposed to be, we can't do this."

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards

With LeBron James watching on from courtside, the Cavaliers trailed by as many as 30 points against Washington on Sunday. 

Missing their talisman - James was rested by Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue - the Ohio franchise struggled to get anything going against the 10th placed Wizards.

While some may point to LeBron's absence as an excuse for the result, Smith isn't one of them. With the Cavs destined for the playoffs they need everyone to be firing on all cylinders come crunch games.

Sunday's loss wasn't one of those games, but Smith will certainly be hoping that his harsh words will prevent the bad habits that emerged yesterday from returning when Cleveland's season is on the line moving forward.

Promising position

It could, of course, be a lot worse for the Cavaliers.

Despite their two-game losing streak, the Cavs remain two games clear at the top of the East with a 41-17 record, and LeBron is likely to be back in the lineup for tonight's game against the Indiana Pacers.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors

James, Smith and co. will be hoping to right the wrongs of the past few days when they return to the Q Arena this evening.

If they don't, they will have an extended time to think about how to solve any issues before they return to the court on Friday night - again against the Washington Wizards.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
JR Smith
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Washington Wizards
Southeast Division
LeBron James

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