Brooklyn welcomed back Andray Blatche, who missed the last three games due to personal reasons. Blatche came off the bench to score 12 points on four of 10 from the field and hit all four of his free throw attempts. Brooklyn also played without forward Kevin Garnett who sat out the game to get some rest.
The Cavaliers were without All-Star guard Kyrie Irving due to an injury. Jarrett Jack started in his place and finished with seven assists but struggled shooting the ball, hitting just one of his eight field goal attempts.
The biggest sparks for the Cavaliers were Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles, Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson. Thompson and Varejao combined for 21 rebounds. Miles scored 19 points but only shot six of 19 from the floor. Miles also had eight boards. Waiters was a problem for the Nets throughout the game. The second year guard scored 26 points hitting nine of 18 field goal attempts, three of five from long range and made five of his six free throw attempts.
Starting in place of Kevin Garnett for the Nets was veteran forward Reggie Evans. Evans was his usual self on the glass as he pulled down 11 rebounds and also scored eight points. Joe Johnson continued his recent struggle as he scored just two points on one of seven field goal attempts.
Paul Pierce and Deron Williams were the real keys to the Nets victory. Pierce scored 18 points, had five assists and also three blocks. Williams made seven of his 10 field goal attempts to get his 21 points.
The Nets led through much of the game, including a 13 point halftime lead. However, the Cavaliers used a 20-4 run to regain the lead in the third quarter. Brooklyn was able to get refocused and took a 67-65 lead into the fourth quarter, where they were able to hold off the depleted Cavaliers.
Said coach Jason Kidd after the game, "Normally a third-quarter run on us tends to be a downfall, but tonight's game was a positive."
In the Nets last two contests they have been able to overcome a big deficit on the road and also a stave off a big run in the second half by their opponent. Earlier in the season, the Nets would have welted in these situations.
The Nets next few games get much tougher, but it seems as though this team may be starting to change some of its bad habits.
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