Nets Top Cavs in Road Trip Finale
Wrap-Up –Despite a career night for Anderson Varejao – and an excellent one for Kyrie Irving – the road-weary Cavaliers fell behind big and didn’t have the gas to recover – dropping a 114-101 decision to the Nets on Tuesday night in Brooklyn. The Cavs cut a 24-point Nets edge to just 10 at the end of three quarters, but Brooklyn pulled away down the stretch.
Varejao posted 17 points and seven boards in the first quarter and didn’t slow down – finishing with a career-high 35 points to go with 18 boards – 11 offensive – three assists and a pair of steals. Irving was almost as good, finishing with 34 points and eight assists. He notched 27 of those points in the second half and was a perfect 14-for-14 from the stripe.
Turning Point – Behind Varejao’s massive first quarter – 17 points and seven boards – the Cavaliers actually led by one, 30-29, after one. But the Nets – to quote Kyrie –“punched (Cleveland) in the mouth” to start the second period, going on a 19-4 run that put the Wine and Gold in catch-up mode for the rest of the night.
Game Ball – Anderson Varejao There are times where Anderson Varejao can be the best player on the floor without putting up big stats. Not tonight. On Tuesday in Brooklyn, Varejao was the most active Cavalier on both ends of the floor – and put up huge numbers as well. The last Cavalier to post numbers like Andy’s – at least 35 points and 18 boards – was his good friend, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who did so back on November 3, 2004.
By the Numbers – 6 … Total bench points for the Cavaliers on Tuesday. Cleveland’s reserves shot a combined 2-for-13 from the floor. Jon Leuer scored four of those points and was the only member of Byron Scott’s second team with a field goal.
Quotable – Head Coach Byron Scott, unhappy with the Cavs allowing Brooklyn to shoot 55 percent and score 21 more points than their season average …
“We have to get more guys that are going to be competitive and passionate about the defensive end and right now, we really have three: Boobie Gibson, Alonzo Gee and Andy Varejao. We gotta get other guys to join into the party – it’s as simple as that.”
Seen and Heard – A pair of former Indians were in attendance on Tuesday – pitcher C.C. Sabathia and former first baseman Eddie Murray – along with late night host, Jimmy Fallon. The Barclays Center is a unique venue – with its dark theater lighting and herringbone floor. Like the orchestra, fans are asked not to come down the isles during play. When the Cavaliers team bus arrived at the new arena – after an hour-and-fifteen-minute trip from midtown Manhattan – it pulls into an arena elevator and is lowered down a floor to event level.
Up Next – The Cavaliers get a well-earned three-day break before welcoming the Mavericks to town on Saturday night – the first-half of a home-road back-to-back. Cleveland travels to Philly for a matchup with the Sixers on Sunday.