Notebook: Nets 114, Cavaliers 101

Posted Nov 13, 2012 11:24 PM

By Jake Appleman, for

THE FACTS: For the third straight home game, the Brooklyn Nets built a 20-point lead. For the second straight game, they didn't let it get away.

Boosted by superlative performances from Deron Williams (26 points, 10 assists) and the team's bench, the Nets beat the Cavaliers 114-101 at Barclays Center. Brook Lopez pitched in 23 points and Joe Johnson (25 points, six assists) caught fire late to seal the victory.

Struggling at the end of a six-game road trip, an unreal start from Anderson Varejao (a career-high 35 points, 18 rebounds) and point guard pyrotechnics from Kyrie Irving (34 points, eight assists) were not enough for the Cavaliers, although Irving and Varejao made their case as an in-style NBA JAM tandem.

QUOTABLE: "It's better to try and figure out how you can correct, when you're having 20-point leads than to be 20 points down."

-- Nets coach Avery Johnson

THE STAT: The Nets had 23 fast-break points to just eight for the Cavaliers.

TURNING POINT: Varejao checked out with 1:23 remaining in the first quarter, allowing the Nets an easier time on offense and providing much needed relief for their over-matched interior defense. The Nets' second unit then reeled off a 24-6 run, staking the Nets to a 14-point lead.

QUOTABLE II: "I was just trying to be active and tried to be aggressive on offense."

-- Varejao

QUOTABLE III: "He's got the ball on a string. When he's in the pick-and-roll situation, it's very tough for our big men to get out and show on him because he's so good at splitting, and he's quick."

-- Williams, on Irving as a tough cover

INSIDE THE ARENA: Tuesday's encounter featured arguably the most entertaining basketball that Barclays Center has played host to yet. Williams made plenty of nifty plays matched up against Irving, whose imitation of a crafty water bug delighted ... CC Sabathia of the Yankees, former New York Giant Michael Strahan, baseball Hall-of-Famer Eddie Murray, hip hop industry figure Irv Gotti, and talk show host Jimmy Fallon attended the game.

ROOKIE WATCH: Dion Waiters (3-for-16) suffered through a horrible shooting night for the Cavs.

NOTABLE: Varejao scored 17 of the Cavs' first 28 first-quarter points on 7-for- shooting, to go along with seven rebounds. ... The Nets missed their first 13 3-pointers. ... The Cavaliers scored 64 points in the paint. Avery Johnson praised the energy and pick-and-roll defense of reserves Andray Blatche (13 points) and Reggie Evans (eight rebounds) after a significant chunk of that damage was done in the first quarter...

UP NEXT: For the Cavaliers, Saturday vs. Dallas, Sunday @ Philadelphia, Nov. 21 vs. Philadelphia. For the Nets, Thursday vs. Boston, Sunday @ Sacramento, Tuesday @ L.A. Lakers.