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The NBA adjusted its national TV schedule and it results in the Wizards' only national TV game, a Feb. 7 game at Verizon Center vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, being bumped off the air, the league said late Thursday night.
Instead, ESPN will air the Portland Trail Blazers at the Indiana Pacers in that time slot. Both teams have the best records in their conferences at 23-5. The Blazers are playing late Thursday vs. the Los Angeles Clippers.
While the Wizards (12-13) are showing signs of being a playoff team and could have a stronger record by that date, the Cavaliers (10-18) are on a three-game losing streak and the matchup isn't as attractive as it was before the season began.
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The Wizards and Cavs have split two meetings this season, with Kyrie Irving leading his team with career-high tying 41 points in a 103-96 overtime win Nov. 16 and John Wall getting revenge four days later 98-91 at Quicken Loans Arena.
The next chance to see Wall and Irving on the court at the same time could be Feb. 16 at the All-Star game in New Orleans, but they'd be teammates with the East Conference.
Of course, the Wizards always could be flexed back into the national TV lineup if they're winning more and have an opponent that is winning, too. Small-market Portland, after all, wasn't on anyone's radar before the season.