Wine & Gold Win Ugly, Take Fifth Straight

LeBron Goes Off, Love Doubles Up as Cavs Stay Hot
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/GettyImages

Wrap-Up -- Over the course of an 82-game season, sometimes a team has to take an ugly win when they get one.

Aside from LeBron James, the Cavaliers didn’t have their A-game – trailing the Lottery-bound Nets at intermission – but still had enough in the tank to close out a stubborn Brooklyn squad and earn their fifth straight victory, 121-114, on Sunday afternoon at Barclays Center.

With nine games to play in the season, the Wine & Gold are still trying to get healthy, but that was still not the case on Sunday – with Jeff Green missing the contest with the flu and Kyle Korver still away after the death of his younger brother. Even without two of their steadiest veterans, Cleveland topped the 120-point mark for the fourth straight contest.

LeBron James nearly scored one-quarter of those – leading both teams with 37 points, going 14-for-19 from the floor, adding 10 boards, a game-high eight assists and a steal.

The Cavaliers needed all of it against a 23-win Nets team that’s given them trouble all season. The Nets led through most of the first half and the entire third quarter before Cleveland finally took the lead early in the fourth and cruised to the finish line.

Kevin Love continued his seamless transition back into the lineup after missing 21 games with a broken hand – doubling-up for the second time in his last three outings, netting 20 points and a game-high 15 boards, going 6-of-14 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.

George Hill, the third Cavalier starter in double-figures, finished with 17 points in the win – going 6-of-11 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from deep to go with five assists, four boards and a pair of steals.

Jordan Clarkson, the second-leading bench scorer in the Association, did his thing on Sunday afternoon – chipping in with 18 points on 6-for-12 shooting, his 15th double-digit scoring performance in 19 games as a Cavalier. Rodney Hood, in his second game back after missing the previous four with a sore lower back, finished with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-6 from three-point range.

Normally a pair of performances like that would assure that the Cavaliers reserves would win the scoring battle. But Joe Harris – taken by the Wine & Gold in the same Draft that produced Clarkson and Hood – just happened to have his best game as a pro against his former squad, notching 30 points off the bench, going 11-for-14 from the floor, 6-of-7 from long-distance.

Even with Larry Nance Jr. limited to 17 minutes because of foul trouble, the Cavaliers still led Brooklyn on the boards, 49-38, in the paint, 52-38, and on the break, 18-7.

Kevin Love


Kevin Love tallies his 29th double-double of the season.

Turning Point -- The Cavaliers led by six early, but Brooklyn refused to fold and took a two-point lead after one and upped their advantage to four at the break.

Both teams were neck-and-neck through three – scoring the exact same amount of points in the second and third quarters. But at the halfway point of the fourth quarter, the Wine & Gold finally found their rhythm.

George Hill’s layup gave Cleveland the lead back with 5:58 to play, keying a 12-3 run that put the Cavs up nine with 3:23 remaining. Brooklyn would get no closer than five the rest of the way.

By the Numbers10 … seasons that LeBron James has now topped the 2,000-point plateau – hitting that mark on Sunday for the first time since the 2013-14 season – joining Michael Jordan and Karl Malone as the only players in NBA history to have done so in 10 different years.

QuotableCoach Larry Drew, on his team fighting through a sluggish first half in Brooklyn …

”I’m just proud of the fact that we didn’t fold. We got behind, we kept grinding. I thought we gave a much better defensive effort in the second half than we did in the first half.”

Up Next -- After taking down the Nets on Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn, the Wine & Gold’s three-game roadie heads for South Beach, where the Cavs face off against the Heat on Tuesday night. The following evening, it’s a date with Kemba Walker and the Hornets in Charlotte. Cleveland returns to The Q on Friday night to close out the month of March with a meeting against Anthony Davis and the Pelicans – the first game of a four-game homestand that will see Dallas, Toronto and Washington all come through Cleveland next week.

Calls of the Game

#CavsNets Postgame Wrap-Up presented by Rocket Mortgage

Cavs.com's Fred McLeod checks in from Brooklyn to wrap-up the Wine & Gold's victory against the Nets on Sunday.

Cavs at Nets - March 25, 2018

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

#CavsNets Postgame Wrap-Up presented by Rocket Mortgage

Cavs.com's Fred McLeod checks in from Brooklyn to wrap-up the Wine & Gold's victory against the Nets on Sunday.
Mar 26, 2018  |  03:13

#CavsNets Postgame: George Hill - March 25, 2018

Cavaliers guard George Hill spoke with the media following Sunday's 121-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
Mar 25, 2018  |  01:48

#CavsNets Postgame: Kevin Love - March 25, 2018

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media following Sunday's 121-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
Mar 25, 2018  |  04:24

#CavsNets Postgame: Rodney Hood - March 25, 2018

Cavaliers guard Rodney Hood spoke with the media following Sunday's 121-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
Mar 25, 2018  |  02:33

#CavsNets Postgame: Jordan Clarkson - March 25, 2018

Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson spoke with the media following Sunday's 121-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
Mar 25, 2018  |  01:16

#CavsNets Postgame: Coach Drew - March 25, 2018

Cavaliers Associate Head Coach Larry Drew spoke with the media following Sunday's 121-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
Mar 25, 2018  |  06:37

#CavsNets Postgame: LeBron James - March 25, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Sunday's 121-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
Mar 25, 2018  |  03:13

#CavsNets On-Court Postgame: LeBron James - March 25, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with FOX Sports Ohio's Allie Clifton following Sunday's 121-114 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
Mar 25, 2018  |  01:56

Hill and LBJ with Two Alley-Oop Connections

George Hill and LeBron James hook up for two pretty alley-oop finishes.
Mar 25, 2018  |  00:27

Clarkson with the Emphatic Flush

Kevin Love drops the dime to Jordan Clarkson who rises high for the emphatic flush.
Mar 25, 2018  |  00:09

Hill Trims the Lead with Back-to-Back Buckets

George Hill cans a triple and converts the tough layup in consecutive possessions to trim the Nets lead.
Mar 25, 2018  |  00:27

George Hill Beats the Buzzer

LeBron James finds George Hill in the corner for the triple to close out the first half in Brooklyn.
Mar 25, 2018  |  00:08

LeBron Muscles Home the And-One

LeBron James goes strong into the paint and converts the bucket, plus the foul.
Mar 25, 2018  |  00:23

LBJ with the Hoop and the Harm

Jose Calderon and LeBron James work the pick-and-roll resulting in a LBJ layup, plus the foul in this Goodyear 'More Driven' highlight.
Mar 25, 2018  |  00:24

Featured Highlight: LBJ with the Monster Slam

LeBron James turns the corner and soars through the lane for the posterizing slam on the Nets.
Mar 25, 2018  |  00:15

LBJ Gets it Going Early in Brooklyn

LeBron James gets off to a fast start in Brooklyn scoring the Wine & Gold's first six points.
Mar 25, 2018  |  00:38

LeBron Scores 37, Cavs Beat Nets For 5th Straight Win

LeBron James tallies 37 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as the Cavaliers beat the Nets on Sunday.
Mar 25, 2018  |  56:00

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 121, Nets 114

LeBron James scores 37 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 8 assists as the Cavaliers get the win over the Nets, 121-114.
Mar 25, 2018  |  09:00