NBA Game Summary - Brooklyn at Cleveland|
(Wednesday, October 30th)
Final Score: Cleveland 98, Brooklyn 94
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Anderson Varejao's tie-breaking jump shot
with 28.1 seconds left helped get a promising season for the Cleveland
Cavaliers off to a terrific start, while simultaneously spoiling the
anticipated unveiling of the Brooklyn Nets' star-studded core.
The upstart Cavaliers outplayed the experienced Nets down the stretch to come
away with a 98-94 victory at Quicken Loans Arena and make head coach Mike
Brown's second tour of duty behind the Cleveland bench a successful return.
Tristan Thompson netted 18 points for the Cavs, who haven't won more than 24
games in the three seasons since Brown was fired and LeBron James famously
took his talents to South Beach following the 2009-10 campaign. Brown, who won
313 games and made the playoffs in all five of his seasons during his initial
go-around in Cleveland, was brought back in April to mold a young Cavaliers
squad that showed its considerable talents in the opener.
Star point guard Kyrie Irving overcame a 4-for-16 shooting display to chip in
15 points, nine assists and several big plays down the stretch to help
"It was a gritty, grimy, ugly game ... just kind of how I like it," Brown
remarked. "I'm sure Brooklyn doesn't feel they played their best, I know we
didn't play our best. But the one thing that I expressed to our guys is
offensively there were times when we looked like we were going to be
juggernauts at that end of the floor."
The Nets made a giant offseason splash by landing perennial All-Stars Paul
Pierce and Kevin Garnett along with fellow accomplished veteran Jason Terry in
a blockbuster nine-player trade with Boston. However, the expected Eastern
Conference contenders couldn't get over the hump in this one after fighting
back from a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter.
"Give [Cleveland] credit. They came out at home and played with great energy
and enthusiasm," said Terry. "Everytime we made a run, they would answer it.
For game one, we've still got a lot of work to do."
Pierce finished with 17 points and Terry made four shots from beyond the arc
in a 14-point effort off the bench. Garnett scored just eight points, but
pulled down a game-best 10 rebounds in the loss.
Brook Lopez paced Brooklyn with 21 points in the team's first of two games
with new head coach Jason Kidd serving a suspension for a prior DUI arrest.
Cleveland began to create some distance by putting together a strong third
quarter in which it shot 54.5 percent. Back-to-back buckets by Thompson put
the Cavaliers up by a 73-64 score with 4 1/2 minutes to go in the period, and
the lead grew to double digits late in the frame on an Alonzo Gee triple that
made it a 79-69 game.
The battle-tested Nets climbed back in it, though, recording the first six
points of the fourth quarter and pulling even with 7:33 to go when Terry sank
consecutive treys to forge an 82-82 deadlock.
It was all knotted at 91-91 entering the final minute after Pierce buried a 3-
pointer and Garnett fed Lopez for an easy layup. Irving then misfired from
long range on the other end, but Earl Clark saved the rebound and Irving found
Varejao open at the top of the key. The energetic center calmly swished
through a 14-footer to put the Cavs back in front with 28.1 seconds left.
Pierce missed the mark on a contested shot on the ensuing possession, with
Irving fouled after pulling down the rebound in traffic. The All-Star guard
hit both bonus shots for a 4-point lead, then made two more with just 5.9
seconds showing after Terry's 3-point try also clanged off the iron.
"Because of our defense, that allowed us to get the win," said Brown. "I
thought our guys stayed after it."
Brooklyn's new-look and well-paid starting five was impressive early on,
hitting on its first four field goal attempts in jumping out to a quick 12-2
advantage. The Nets owned a 24-16 edge with three minutes left in the opening
quarter, before reserves Jarrett Jack and C.J. Miles combined for all of
Cleveland's points during an 11-2 run that closed out the period.
The clubs traded the lead a total of nine times during a tightly contested
second quarter, with Irving sending the Cavs ahead by a 49-48 score at the
break by converting a reverse layup with 28.4 seconds remaining.
Assistant Joe Prunty served as Brooklyn's acting head coach in Kidd's absence
... Cavs center Andrew Bynum saw his first game action since Game 5 of the
2012 Western Conference semifinals on May 21 of that year, while then with the
Los Angeles Lakers. The offseason addition, who sat out all last season with
knee troubles while with Philadelphia, had three points and three rebounds in
eight minutes ... Cleveland forward Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick in
this past June's draft, went 0-for-5 from the field and managed just two
points over 15 minutes in his debut ... Jack had 12 points and Miles 10 to
lead a Cleveland bench that outscored Brooklyn's reserves by a 34-28 margin
... Forward Andrei Kirilenko, another of the Nets' notable veteran offseason
pickups, did not play due to back spasms.
10/30 23:33:05 ET