On Wednesday night, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers by a final score of 113 – 95.
The Skinny: The Nets started the game without Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace so MarShon Brooks along with Keith Bogans got the start. Brook Lopez was a point of emphasis early with the smaller Cavs lineup and Tyler Zeller playing center. Reggie Evans helped Lopez inside with six rebounds in the first to go with six points. MarShon Brooks looked engaged and in an offensive flow in the first with 11 points, two assists and a rebound. Good signs for Brooklyn early with Brooks producing in the paint. Nets shooting a hot 63 percent from the floor to go up 28- 20 after one.
The Bench Mob started the second without the normal Deron Williams or Joe Johnson anchoring the squad. The Nets started with a quick 10-4 run behind Brooks continued offensive onslaught with three more quick buckets to get him to 8-for-8 and 17 points early in the second. Net match biggest lead of the game with a nice play by Andray Blatche, up 15 points, 43-28 with six to play until half. Nets shooting the lights out and the rout is on. Williams and C.J. Watson hit back to back to back 3-pointers to get the lead to 63 -34 with under a minute to play. Nets outscored the Cavs 38-16 in the quarter to take a 66-36 lead at half behind 73 percent shooting.
The second half started very similar to the first half with Williams hitting another 3-pointer to sustain the 30 point lead. Williams was later called for his first ever career flagrant foul on Tyler Zeller’s drive to the basket where he made contact with his head. No intent there. Every set the Nets ran worked including obvious inbounds plays. The Nets dominating the glass 31-17 midway through the third, Evans with 17 rebounds, which had been a problem for Brooklyn in the previous two games with Cleveland. The Nets kept the lead with a quality third quarter to go into the fourth up 95-68.
The Cavs came out to start the fourth with a 9-3 run to bring the Nets lead to 98-77 with nine minutes to play. Carlesimo called a timeout and the Nets settled down and finished the game for the starters. The bench turned it over a bit but the game was already over before the fourth quarter started. The final score did not indicate the dominance of the Nets with a 113-95 win.
High Scorers: MarShon Brooks came out aggressive starting at guard for Joe Johnson and it showed early with 19 first half points. He totaled 27 for the game which was a new career high for the second year guard. Deron Williams chipped in with 18 first half points to end with 24 points through three quarters of play. The two combined for 15 assists as well.
Tyler Zeller was the Cavs only offense for most of the game with 14 points until Kyrie Irving starting hoisting a ton of shots to end up up scoring a team high 16 points and six assists on an off night for him.
Key Stats: Nets shot and amazing 15-for-18 in the second for 83 percent and outscored the Cavs 38-16. The 73 percent at half was the Nets highest field goal percentage for a half all season.
Who Was Hot: MarShon Brooks was 9-for-9 and eclipsed his season-high of 17 points with 19 first half points and handed out four assists. He continued in the second with the same mentality and had a career high in points with 27 and dished out a healthy career-tying seven assists.
Who Was Not: Kyrie Irving was 2-for-9 in the first half with four assists and looked out of sorts. Tristan Thompson did not help going 0-for-5 in the first half as well. Irving ended the game 5-for-16 for 16 points.
Fun Fact: Brooklyn has won all of this season’s matchups and four straight over the Cavaliers. The Nets have taken four of their last five in Cleveland as well.
John PaolantonioThe Nets came out and hit the Cavs right in the mouth early in the paint with Lopez, Evans and Brooks attacking the basket at will. The smaller Cavs could not handle the Nets and it opened up the three point shot later in the second quarter.
MarShon Brooks was relentless in the first half hitting for a season high 19 points on 9-for-9 shooting while dishing out four assists. Deron Williams almost matched him with 18 points in the first half to blow open the game. The Nets backcourt of Williams/Brooks single handedly outscored the Cavs entire team 37-36 at halftime.
The 66-36 lead at half was the Nets was the largest halftime lead of the season.
The Nets looked refreshed and focused to open the second half which is a positive in itself after the year-long third quarter woes. Williams and Brooks continued to play well and moved the ball around to get C.J. Watson and Andray Blatche involved.
Whoever P.J. Carlesimo put on the floor seemed to work out and he just sat on the bench quietly in amazement as all Nets fans did.
The fourth quarter was sloppy early with the reserves in the game until the old veteran Jerry Stackhouse calmed things down with a three and a couple of nice assists. For the first time this year Carlesimo was able to sit his starters the entire fourth quarter without hesitation.
The Nets turnovers were the only negative on this night with 18 but the new season high of 31 assists more than made up for the mistakes.
The Nets now hold the franchise record with 21 road victories with a great win for Brooklyn to end the longest road trip in Nets history at 5-3.
Brooklyn (43-31) will be right back in action tomorrow night at home to play the visiting Chicago Bulls. The 7 p.m. game will be televised on TNT.
John Paolantonio is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter@pingshoops.