The clash between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers was an important one not just for their position on the conference table but also for their morale as they would certainly be seeing each other in the play-in tournament. Coming into the game, the Nets have a2-1 lead in the regular season series and were looking to stamp their authority.
The Cavaliers went with their starting lineup of Darius Garland, Lauri Markanen, Caris LeVert, Evan Mobley and Isaac Okoro. The Nets started with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Bruce Brown, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond.
Both teams were hungry for the win and it was prevalent with the way both teams started with the game. With Jarett Allen out due to injury, Evan Mobley was anchoring the paint. The Nets tried to take advantage of that and they did in the beginning. In the 2nd quarter, the Cavaliers stood affirm as they started to make stops on the defensive end and score efficiently on the other hand. However, the Nets took the 1st half, 62-54.
In the 3rd quarter, the Cavaliers came with waves of attacks led by Darius Garland who was torching the Nets’ defense. That momentum would soon be lost by the end of the quarter as Kevin Durant took over. He made shots despite being double teamed and fed the ball to Andre Drummond who took advantage of the Cavalier’s weak interior.
In the 4th quarter, the Nets continued their onslaught. The Cavaliers struggled to shoot and get open looks despite the Nets ranking as one of the worst defensive teams. Durant punished the Cavaliers offense and led the Nets to victory.
Durant put up 36 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists for the team along with 2 blocks. Kyrie Irving struggled on the offensive end not being able to shoot the 3-point yet he put up 18 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds. Bruce Brown had a near triple-double with 18 points, 8 assists and 10 rebounds. Andre Drummond took care of the interior with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Darius Garland had a spectacular scoring night with 31 points along with 3 assists and 2 steals. Evan Mobley gave 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Lauri Markkanen and Caris LeVert contributed with 17 and 16 points respectively.
What does the result of the game mean?
The Nets took the game with a scoreline of 118-107. This victory gave a huge boost to them as they will be facing the Cavaliers in the Play-In tournament. They also won the regular season series with a 3-1 margin.
The absence of Jarett Allen is hurting the Cavaliers right now and there is no clear time-table for his return. They need to step up their game as the Play-In is almost upon them. Tweaking a few strategies would benefit them. But how far will they be able to go?