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Much of the attention headed into Wednesday night’s matchup focused on the player who used to wear uniform No. 2 for the Cavaliers. When the smoke cleared, it was the kid who wears that numeral now who stole the show.
Returning from a five-game absence with an ankle injury, Collin Sexton simply caught fire in the second overtime – scoring 15 of his 42 points in the extra-extra session, drilling four of his five triples and sending the new-look Nets to the showers, taking the 147-135 thriller at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
The Young Bull saved his best for last – splashing home his first bomb of the night with 1.2 seconds remaining in the first overtime to tie the game at 127-apiece. In the second OT, the third-year guard from Alabama was utterly unstoppable, going 5-of-6 from the floor as the Wine & Gold pulled away, outscoring Brooklyn, 20-8, in the extra five minutes.
Wednesday’s game was billed as the debut of Brooklyn’s new “big three” of Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant – playing in their first game as a group. The trio didn’t disappoint – Durant led the Nets with 36 points and Irving added 33. Harden, who attempted just two shots in the first half, still tallied a triple-double with 21 points, 10 boards and a game-high 12 assists.
All five Nets starters scored in double-figures, but for the Cavs, every player who saw action except rookie Isaac Okoro notched double-figure scoring – including all three reserves, two of whom were making their Cavaliers debuts.
Cedi Osman notched his second straight 25-point game, going 9-for-17 from the floor, including 4-of-9 from long-range, adding seven boards and a team-high seven assists.
Taurean Prince, acquired by Cleveland in the deal that brought Harden to Brooklyn, came off the bench to net 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-5 from deep, adding seven rebounds and four assists.
Jarrett Allen, the other player from that deal, doubled-up with 12 points, a game-high 11 boards and four of the Cavaliers six blocked shots in 31 active minutes off the bench.
Larry Nance Jr. chipped in with 15 points, going 3-of-5 from long-range, adding eight boards, five assists and four steals to add to his NBA lead.
Andre Drummond rounded out the Cavs starters in double-figures – finishing with 13 points – but he failed to extend his double-double streak with seven boards and three assists.
Damyean Dotson had another solid scoring effort – coming off the bench to net 15 points, going 6-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Miss any of the action? Find all the highlights and photos in the Game Tracker.
Collin Sexton caught fire on double-overtime, hitting big basket after big basket, including scoring 20 points in a row.
The Cavaliers led by a dozen points with 7:16 to play in regulation, but the high-octane Nets continued to chip away and finally tied the affair at 113-apiece on Kyrie Irving’s tip-in with 1:08 to play in regulation.
The Cavaliers trailed for much of the first overtime session, but Larry Nance Jr.’s triple with 46.8 to play tied the game at 120 and Collin Sexton’s bomb with 1.2 tied the game at 127 after Kevin Durant’s free throws gave Brooklyn a three-point edge.
In the second overtime, Sexton was simply too much for Steve Nash’s squad – scoring 15 of Cleveland’s 20 points in the period as the Cavs took the first of two against Brooklyn this week.
By the Numbers – 20.3, .477, .387 … Cedi Osman’s scoring average, along with his shooting percentage and percentage from long-range over his last four games.
The fourth-year pro has is also averaging 5.6 assists per over his last eight games, handing out at least five dimes in five of those eight contests.
"I kept having confidence in my self and my teammates kept having confidence in me, (saying): 'Those shots are going to fall, don’t worry about it, don’t press about it.' They kept telling me all the hard work I put in is gonna pay off, so just stay ready. So tonight, I just stayed ready and listened to my teammates and my coaches and just fed off them the entire game."
Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and Rafa Hernandez-Brito from Power 89.1.
The Cavaliers wrap up their two-game set with Brooklyn on Friday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Friday night before hitting the road for a Sunday night showdown with the Celtics in Beantown.
The Wine & Gold return the following night, welcoming LeBron James and the World Champion Lakers to town on Monday. Cleveland stays home for a Wednesday night matchup with the Pistons before closing out the month with two on the road – next Friday night in New York and the following Sunday in Minneapolis.