The Play-In tournament has officially commenced. The first matchup was between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The victor of the bout would go to the Playoffs as the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference to face off against the 2nd seeded Boston Celtics.
The Brooklyn Nets went with a starting lineup of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Andre Drummond, Seth Curry and Bruce Brown. The Cavaliers started with their lineup of Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, Lauri Markkanen, Caris LeVert and Isaac Okoro.
The tension in the stadium could be felt vibrating in the arena with both teams giving it their all on the court. Brooklyn took an early lead thanks to the efforts of Kyrie and Durant. The Nets did a great job on the defensive end and fans were ecstatic to see Durant go for the block against Lauri Markkanen. Darius Garland from the Cavaliers was doing everything he can to keep his team afloat.
The Nets kept pushing the tempo and the Cavaliers were playing in their hands. They started to get it together in the 2nd quarter starting with their defense. Making sure that the ball fell less into Durant and Kyrie’s and putting more bodies on them were good tactics that the Cavaliers used. The 1st half ended with the Nets in the lead with 57-43.
In the 2nd half, both teams showed off their incredible offense and things really got heated up. Kyrie was yet to miss a shot going 12 off 12 till the end of 3rd quarter. The Nets focused on the interior more and took really good quality shots. The Cavaliers responded by taking advantage of the Net’s shoddy defense on the perimeter and they barraged with 3 pointers.
The 4th quarter was a mimic of the previous one. Kyrie finally missed a shot but that did not stop him as he was doing whatever he pleases. Durant was scoring as well at the end of the 4th quarter. The most awestriking part was that both Durant and Irving took on the playmaking part and got the Nets going. Due to their early lead, the Nets beat the Cavaliers 115-108 to move on as the 7th seed in the East.
Kyrie Irving took on the role of the primary scorer as he put up 34 points, 12 assists and 3 rebounds. Kevin Durant complemented perfectly and he put up 25 points, 11 assists and 5 rebounds. Bruce Brown averaged a near triple-double with 18 points, 8 assists and 9 rebounds. Andre Drummond took on the interior with 16 points and 8 rebounds.
Darius Garland scored the most points for the Cavaliers with 34 points and 5 assists. Kevin Love scored a double-double off the bench with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Evan Mobley scored 19 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
The Nets took the victory and now they will go on to face the Boston Celtics in the 1st round of the playoffs. The Cavaliers will wait for matching up against the winner between the Charlotte Hornets and the Atlanta Hawks. The winner of that bout will go on as the 8th seed to face the Miam