Cavs Start Strong But Sputter In Loss To Brooklyn
November 14, 2012 By Kevin Mulhall
Stepping into Barclay's Center last night to take on the Brooklyn Nets, the Cleveland Cavaliers were looking to rebound from a difficult loss Sunday to the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder.
In the first quarter they looked primed to do just that. Led by 16 points from Anderson Varejao, two of which came off a highlight-reel pass from Kyrie Irving, the Cavs quickly established their high/low game and were able to keep a bigger, more physical Nets team at bay. Unfortunately the second quarter did not go Cleveland's way.
Starting out with the second team the Cavaliers went nearly five minutes without a point. Brooklyn quickly found its rhythm and used its size to start beating up on the Cavs. The return of the starting five did little to slow down the Nets who finished the first half with 42 points in the paint.
The third quarter was much the same with the Nets continuing to exploit their physical advantage; which along with improved ball movement helped Brooklyn keep its double digit lead despite a late run by the Cavs. Turning to the bench to start the fourth, Cleveland began the final twelve minutes nearly exactly how they played the second; going almost four minutes without a point.
Once again the Nets exploited poor play and production from the bench to re-establish their rhythm, this time finding range from outside the arch to extend their lead back to twenty half way through the quarter. The closing six minutes provided some flashes of brilliance for the Cavs, led by the efforts of both Varejao and Irving, but as the game came to an end it turned out to be too little too late. With the sound of the ending buzzer Cleveland found itself again on the losing end of the stick, falling to Brooklyn, 114 to 101.
There was though a silver lining in the Cavalier loss as Anderson Varejao finished with a career high 35 points in addition to 18 rebounds. The Cavs return home to take on the Mavericks Saturday, tip-off is 7:30.