Final Dime: Cavaliers 93, Nets 91
Ramon Sessions drives for two of his 13 points in Tuesday night's win over New Jersey.
Jesse D. Garrabrant
Once again, the Cavaliers needed a spark in the final period in a hostile environment. And once again, the former Longhorn was there to deliver it – canning a pair of back-to-back three-pointers early in the fourth that sliced a five-point Nets lead to one. Jawad Williams canned a trey on Cleveland’s next possession to give the Cavaliers a lead they would not relinquish.
When it was all said and done, the Cavaliers – led by Gibson’s eight-point fourth – had wrapped up their third straight road win, 93-91, weathering Travis Outlaw’s three-point barrage in the game’s waning moments.
“I told the guys at the end of the third quarter, we were down by two points, and we’ve been here before,” said Coach Byron Scott. “In the fourth quarter we tightened up on defense, made some good stops and really executed on the offensive end.”
Gibson finished with 14 points off the bench, leading a cadre of reserves that outscored Cleveland’s starters – 52-41. The sixth-year pro was 5-for-10 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from long-distance.
After spotting New Jersey a 13-4 lead, the Wine and Gold were in control for most of the ballgame. But Travis Outlaw’s three-point play at the end of the third knotted the affair at 63-apiece. Derrick Favors’ dunk gave the Nets a two-point edge heading into the fourth.
The Nets extended their lead early in the period, but Boobie’s barrage – combined with Ramon Sessions’ relentless attacks into the teeth of New Jersey’s gave Cleveland all the edge they’d need.
J.J. Hickson led the Cavaliers with 18 points and 10 boards, going 8-for-14 from the floor. Antawn Jamison followed up with 15 points and eight boards in his first action in over a week. And Sessions finished with 15 points of his own, adding five assists and four boards.
“Like I’ve been saying, we all know what we have in this locker room, from players to the coaching staff, and all the way to the trainers,” said Hickson. “We know what kind of organization we have and what we’re capable of.”
Anderson Varejao rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with a nice all-around effort. The Wild Thing finished with 10 points, seven boards, three assists and a pair of blocked shots.
The Cavaliers shot 44 percent from the floor, including 53 percent from beyond the arc. They notched 27 assists and turned the ball over just nine times. If anything kept New Jersey in the game, it was Cleveland shooting an uncharacteristic 54 percent (12-22) from the free throw stripe.
New Jersey will get a quick shot at revenge when the Cavaliers welcome Avery Johnson’s squad to The Q for the second half of the home-and-home back-to-back on Wednesday night.
2. Last year, the Cavaliers swept the season series against New Jersey and have now won nine straight over the Nets.
3. Antawn Jamison returned to the lineup after missing the last three ballgames. He shook the rust off early, hitting the first three-pointer of the game and notching seven of his 15 points in the first quarter. Jamison finished 3-of-4 from three-point range.
4. Byron Scott returned to New Jersey, where he coached the Nets to the franchise’s most fruitful era – doubling their win total from his first year to his second and reaching the NBA Finals in two straight seasons.
5. The Cavaliers made their first trip to the Nets “new” building in Newark – the Prudential Center. The Devils current and future home ice will house the Nets while their new arena is being constructed in Brooklyn. New Jersey will spend two seasons in their new gym.
6. The Cavaliers are one of only three East teams that have a winning road record. They’re now 3-1 away from The Q after Tuesday’s win in New Jersey.
7. Tuesday’s game featured a battle of the Graham brothers – twins Joey and Stephen. “Battle” might not be the exact word, as neither Graham saw action in New Jersey.
8. Cavaliers rookie forward, Samardo Samuels, attended high school at Benedict Prep – about five minutes away from the Prudential Center in Newark.
9. Daniel Gibson has now scored 58 of his 98 points this season in the fourth quarter. Boobie canned a pair of bombs in the final period and the Cavs, as a team, hit five treys in the fourth quarter alone.
10. Anthony Parker drilled the shot that essentially put the Nets away on Tuesday night, a high-arcing desperation three-pointer with the shot clock winding down that put Cleveland ahead seven, 89-82.
“I just wanted to give it a chance and those are shots I’ve taken before when I’ve had to. That’s not the highest-percentage shot you can shoot, but fortunately it fell down – and in!”
Joe Gabriele is the official beat writer for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Cavs.com. You can follow Joe and send him your questions on Twitter at @CavsJoeG.