NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 4th
(All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (11-21) at Brooklyn Nets (11-21), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Cavaliers hope to endure without star
guard Kyrie Irving when they visit the Brooklyn Nets Saturday at Barclays
Irving missed his first game of the season Thursday with a bruised left knee
and didn't travel to Brooklyn. The Cavs rallied without him in an 87-81
overtime triumph versus the Orlando Magic.
Cavs guard Dion Waiters made the tying layup with under a second left in
regulation and Anderson Varejao scored the last six points of overtime for
Cleveland, which erased a 78-68 deficit in the fourth quarter to win for just
the second time in the last 10 contests.
"I just wanted to get to the rim, either get a layup or get fouled," Waiters
said. "I just took what they gave me."
Waiters is the highest scoring bench player in the Eastern Conference at 15.6
points per game.
The Cavs halted a six-game losing streak and will try to work on their 2-14
road mark. They are slated to play six of the next eight games on the road and
have lost four in a row as the guest. Cleveland's last road victory was a
109-100 win at Orlando on Dec. 13.
Brooklyn closed out a three-game road trip (1-2) with Thursday's improbable
95-93 win at Oklahoma City, as Joe Johnson's buzzer-beating basket sent the
home team to the loss column. Johnson helped the Nets overcome a 16-point
deficit and scored nine points on just 4-of-11 shooting.
"Coach drew up the play in the huddle and the rest is history," Johnson said.
Deron Williams scored 18 of his 29 points in the second half and Paul Pierce
added 18 for the Nets, who took advantage of 21 turnovers by the Thunder and
converted them into 26 points. Alan Anderson netted 13 points off the bench.
The Nets, who had been 0-19 when trailing after three quarters, won for the
second time in eight tries and will play four straight at home versus
Cleveland, Atlanta, Golden State and Miami. Brooklyn is 6-9 at home.
Pierce, meanwhile, is three points shy of passing Sixers great Allen Iverson
for 19th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. The Answer amassed 24,368 points
in his career, while The Truth has 24,366. Pierce is fourth among active
players in all-time points scored, trailing only teammate Kevin Garnett, Dirk
Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant.
Brooklyn and Cleveland will play the second of four matchups this season. The
Cavs took the first meeting at home by a 98-94 score on Oct. 30 thanks to
Varejao's tie-breaking jump shot with 28.1 seconds left. The Nets had won four
in a row and eight of the past 11 meetings with the Cavs, who are winless in
three straight as the guest in this series.
01/04 10:33:19 ET