The Brooklyn Nets came into Tuesday night’s game banged up in more than one way. For starters they were fresh off of a tough loss to the Orlando Magic where they blew a 12 point lead in the 2nd half. They also came into the game without their new young star D’Angelo Russell who was out due to a knee injury suffered in the loss to Orlando. The Cleveland Cavaliers came in off a comeback win against the Chicago Bulls which was LeBron’s first game of the season listed as the starting point guard. The Cavs were playing short handed as well as they didn’t have Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose.
It was a back and forth affair in the 1st half as the Nets took a 3 point lead into halftime. Brooklyn made a surge in the 3rd quarter outscoring the cavaliers by 8 taking an 11 point lead into the 4th quarter. However that’s when LeBron James woke up and started the Cavs’ comeback efforts. Cleveland outscored Brooklyn 34-28 in the 4th quarter however, Spencer Dinwiddie hit a deep three to put the Nets up 2 with 45 seconds left. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored a layup on the next possession to put the Nets up four. LeBron had a chance to tie the game with 7.6 seconds left however he missed both (the second intentionally) and Dinwiddie ended up sealing the game with free throws. For Dinwiddie he finished with a career high 22 points and added six assists and 5 rebounds. DeMarre Carroll and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson each finished with season highs of 18 and 19 points respectively. The Nets bench also played a big factor in the game as they scored 43 of the Nets 112 points.
For LeBron and the Cavs it was a tough game up and down. LeBron did put up his first triple double since becoming the Cavs’ point guard. He scored 29 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 13 assists. LeBron and Kevin Love were the only starters to score more than 5 points though. Jeff Green and Kyle Korver scored 18 and 22 off the bench. Cleveland actually did better than the Nets in multiple statistical categories including rebounds, fast break points and field goal percentage. However what eventually plagued the Cavaliers in the end was turnovers. Cleveland had a total of 22 turnovers and also some huge missed free throws by James and Love down the stretch.
For Nets fans there is much to be excited about after this victory. The team is 3-2 and playing entertaining basketball. As for Cavaliers fans, although it might be too early to start worrying, this is definitely a different team without Kyrie Irving. And the thing to watch for this season is who steps up to replace that scoring void.