Saturday, December 29, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Nets 103, Cavaliers 100
By Mike Mazzeo
WHAT IT MEANS: Brook Lopez is back to being a dominant force -- which is a good thing for the Brooklyn Nets.
The 24-year-old center had his second consecutive dominant game, scoring 21 of his season-high 35 points in the first half, and the Nets improved to 2-0 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, barely beating the Cleveland Cavaliers, 103-100, on Saturday night at Barclays Center. Lopez, who scored 26 points and had 11 rebounds in Friday night’s victory over the Charlotte Bobcats, added 11 rebounds.
It was his third straight double-double. Lopez had eight straight clutch points in the fourth quarter with the Nets floundering.
The Nets (16-14) shot 46.7 percent from the field, led by as many as 15 points (they almost blew that, what else is new?) and improved to 5-10 in December.
D-WILL’S BOY: C.J. Miles, who was friends with Williams in Utah, had 22 of his 33 points in the first half and went 8-for-10 from 3-point range.
BROOKLYN’S BACKCOURT: Deron Williams (15 points, seven assists, four rebounds) and Joe Johnson (15 points, three steals) weren’t as dominant as Lopez, but both were efficient.
M.I.A.: Kyrie Irving, who had 34 points the last time the two teams met on Nov. 13, was held to just 13 on 5-for-16 shooting in this one. He missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would’ve tied the game. It was tough for Irving not having center Anderson Varejao in the lineup. Varejao torched the Nets for a career-high 35 points and 18 rebounds in that Nov. 13 game, a 114-101 Brooklyn win.
COMEBACK CAVS: The Cavaliers used an 11-0 run, spanning from the end of the third quarter to the beginning of the fourth quarter, to get within 79-78. But the Nets countered with an 8-1 spurt, then barely hung on the rest of the way.
MR. FIRST QUARTER: Lopez had 15 points and four rebounds in the first quarter on 7-for-8 shooting. The Nets shot it at a 65 percent clip in the opening 12 minutes and led 34-24.
WHO’S IN THE HOUSE? Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z.
UP NEXT: Nets at Spurs on New Year’s Eve.