For the third time in five games, the Brooklyn Nets held a lead as large as 22 points by the half, only to watch their opponents come back. Minnesota was able to come all the way back to shock them last week, but for the second time since, the Nets were able to close, as the Cleveland Cavaliers had no answers on Tuesday night at the Barclays', and were defeated 114-101, as the Nets won their third straight.
The Nets were led by Brook Lopez and the "Brooklyn Backcourt" of Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, as the trio combined for 74 points on the night against a Cavs team that lost its fourth straight game, all of which have been on the road. Johnson had his best night as a Net with 25 points, five rebounds and 6 assists, while Deron added 26 points and 10 assists, with Lopez throwing in 23 points, seven rebounds and blocking four shots. Said Johnson after the game:
''It's probably the best game that we've had together. It's still early in the season, but yeah, I'm sure that's the vision everybody had, that's the vision I had and I'm sure this won't be the last (big) game. Like I say man, we're just figuring things out.''
Cleveland, led by Kyrie Irving's 34 point, eight assist effort and Anderson Varejo's 35 point, 18 rebound effort, cut the lead to nine by the start of the fourth quarter, but couldn't keep up with the Nets, who shot 54% percent from the field, compared to 44% for the Cavs.
The Nets got a scare in the fourth quarter, as Kyrie Irving accidentally head- butted Deron Williams under the chin hard, leaving Williams grimacing in pain. He did remain in the game, and Irving himself went down at one point later, but also stayed in the game.
The Cavs continue their thus-far horrible road trip against Dallas Saturday night, while the Nets travel to Boston on Thursday in their first showdown against Division rival Celtics.