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Cavs beat up on shorthanded Nets
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The playoff-bound Brooklyn Nets sat all of their starters and some key reserves in a 114-85 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Nets entered Wednesday's action as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, but dropped to No. 6 with the loss and Washington's win over Boston. Brooklyn will begin the postseason at Toronto on Saturday.
Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd sat Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson and Shaun Livingston.
"I like right where we are," Kidd said. "A good place. We've been playing some pretty good basketball of late. We've rested and guys have gotten their work in at the same time of healing some of the injuries they've had - some nicks and bruises healed. Now it's time to figure out a way to win a game on the road."
Andray Blatche ended with 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets (44-38), who enter the postseason with just one win in their last five games. Marcus Thornton added 20 points.
Tyler Zeller had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers (33-49), who snapped a two-game skid to end the season. Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving tallied 19 and 15 points, respectively.
"(Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert) gave me this opportunity, and I wouldn't be sitting in this seat without him," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "It's his team, and whatever decision he makes with anything (including my future as coach), I'm going to support him."
Leading by two at the break, the Cavs opened the third quarter with an 11-2 run to take control. Tristan Thompson capped the surge with a jumper, making it 62-51.
Irving later scored eight points during an 8-4 Cleveland spurt. His 17-foot jumper with 4:14 left in the third quarter made it 74-59.
The Cavaliers scored the final five points of the frame to take an 81-64 lead into the fourth.
Cleveland outscored Brooklyn by a 33-21 margin in the fourth.
Cleveland and Brooklyn split four games this season ... The Cavs missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season ... Cleveland shot 52.9 percent from the field and went 14-of-17 from the foul line.
04/17 00:57:15 ET