Notebook: Nets 113, Cavaliers 95



Posted Apr 4, 2013 12:32 AM

Brian Dulik, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Shooting guard MarShon Brooks scored a career-high 27 points in his first start of the season as the Brooklyn Nets routed the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-95. Point guard Deron Williams collected 24 points and eight assists for the Nets, while power forward Reggie Evans added eight points and a game-best 18 rebounds. Point guard Kyrie Irving and center Marreese Speights scored 16 points apiece to lead the Cavaliers, who have lost a season-high 10 straight games. Brooklyn built a 34-point lead early in the third quarter before coasting home with the road victory.

QUOTABLE: "MarShon was unconscious tonight. His first half was really exceptional because he defended well, he moved the ball, and when he went one-on-one, it was appropriate with the time left on the clock."

-- Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo

THE STAT: Brooks made all nine of his field goal attempts in the first half, scoring 19 points in 18 minutes as Brooklyn took a 66-36 lead. The second-year pro surpassed his previous season high of 17 points early in the second quarter, then topped his former career best of 24 on a driving layup in the fourth. "P.J. has given me a lot of minutes lately, so it's a lot easier to get into a rhythm," said Brooks, who started the game 10-for-10 from the floor. "I just tried to be as efficient as possible."

TURNING POINT: The Nets outscored the Cavaliers 38-16 in the second quarter, turning what was an eight-point advantage after one period into a 30-point blowout at intermission. Brooks, Williams, point guard C.J. Watson, and shooting guard Jerry Stackhouse combined on 13-for-14 shooting, including 5-for-5 on 3-pointers, in amassing 34 points and eight assists in the frame. "We came out determined to get a win," Williams said. "Once MarShon got us going, we never really looked back."

QUOTABLE II: "I feel like, right now, we're not playing to win. Once we got down, our entire gameplan went down the drain tonight. These 10 losses in a row can be put on a couple of us for not being mentally ready."

-- Irving

HOT: The Nets clinched their first winning season on the road since joining the NBA in 1976-1977. Brooklyn, which is 21-17 away from Barclays Center, also wrapped up its season-long, eight-game road trip with a 5-3 record. ... Nets center Brook Lopez is averaging 24.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.33 blocked shots in three games against the Cavaliers this season. ... Williams recorded his first slam dunk of 2012-2013, while Stackhouse notched his second. "To see a 38-year-old guy like Stack do that, it inspired me," Williams said, laughing. ... Cleveland center Tyler Zeller scored 14 points, reaching double-figures in scoring for the fourth time in his last five games.

NOT: The Cavaliers' have been outscored by 135 points during their 10-game losing streak. Their last victory came on March 12 against the Wizards. ... Cleveland's skid is its longest since losing an NBA-record 26 consecutive games from Dec. 20, 2010 to Feb. 9, 2011. ... The Cavaliers' starting lineup was outrebounded by Evans 12-10 -- and did not get to the free throw line -- in the first half. ... Brooklyn small forward Keith Bogans missed all five of his field goal attempts, making him 1-for-15 over the last three games. He has scored three points in 65 minutes during that timeframe. ... Williams was ticketed for a flagrant foul on Zeller in the third.

QUOTABLE III: "Even if you're not fighting for a playoff spot, you've got to brainwash yourself into developing (good) habits. You might not be coming back here, but it's like Coach (Byron) Scott says, there are 29 other teams watching."

-- Cavaliers shooting guard C.J. Miles

GOOD MOVE: Carlesimo opted to use Brooks as a fill-in for injured shooting guard Joe Johnson, rather than starting dual point guards in Williams and Watson. Brooks made the veteran coach look brilliant by setting a career scoring high while dishing out a career-high-tying seven assists. "This was a huge game for us, especially because everything is so tight in the East," said Brooks, who finished the night 12-for-16 from the field. "As you guys saw, my shot was just falling today."

BAD MOVE: Despite owning the third-worst home record in the NBA at 13-24, the Cavaliers played with no heart or defensive intensity from the opening tip. They allowed the Nets to shoot 73.0 percent from the floor in the first half, then fell behind 76-42 with 9:57 left in the third quarter. "I'm very disappointed in the way we played," said Scott, who is 62-160 as Cleveland's coach. "The guys just didn't show me life. I don't know why we came out the way we did."

NOTABLE: Nets small forward Gerald Wallace (left foot soreness) was a last-minute scratch, while Johnson (left heel soreness) sat out his fifth game in a row. Johnson is expected to play Thursday against Chicago, while Wallace's status is uncertain. "If this was the last game of the season with the playoffs on the line, I'm sure Gerald would have found a way to play tonight because he's that kind of hard-nosed guy," Carlesimo said. "We'll have to see where he's at tomorrow, though." ... Brooklyn sits fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, but remains in a three-team dogfight with fifth-place Atlanta and sixth-place Chicago for the final home-court position. "To be the five is the worst (spot) you can possibly be, so that's what you're trying to avoid," Carlesimo said. "You want to be the four, but the six throws you into an entire different side of the bracket, so that's another aspect of it."

UP NEXT: For the Nets, Thursday vs. Chicago, Saturday vs. Charlotte, Tuesday vs. Philadelphia. For the Cavaliers, Friday @ Boston, Sunday vs. Orlando, Tuesday @ Indiana.