Nets blow by LeBron, Cavs in 4th, win 104-95
NEW YORK (AP) LeBron James was so good for three quarters that the only one who could stop him was his own teammate.
The fourth quarter belonged to Brooklyn.
Brook Lopez scored 22 points and the Nets blew by James and the Cleveland Cavaliers down the stretch for a 104-95 victory Thursday night.
James was scoreless and missed both shots in the fourth quarter after he scored 30 points on 13-for-14 shooting through three. Lopez had the final five points in a late 14-0 run as the Nets surged past the Eastern Conference leaders.
''We had a lot more fight than we've shown in the last couple of games,'' interim coach Tony Brown said. ''More than anything, obviously, Brook led us down the stretch.''
Shane Larkin added 16 points and seven assists for the Nets in his return to the starting lineup. Bojan Bogdanovic had 12 points.
The Cavaliers finished 10 of 38 on 3-pointers, needing a make by Jordan McRae after the Nets had taken control to extend their franchise-record streak to 10 games with 10 or more makes. But they misfired way too often, with Kyrie Irving finishing 6 for 22 from the field and Kevin Love going 5 for 14.
It looked as if James would rescue his teammates when he scored 15 points in a dominant third quarter. He started 10 for 10 before finally missing when he attempted to follow up Irving's missed layup but appeared to be affected by center Timofey Mozgov jumping as well, and he gave the Russian a long look after the Nets got the rebound of his miss.
But James quickly added three more baskets before the end of the period as the Cavs surged into an 83-80 lead.
''We never gave in,'' Lopez said. ''We knew they were going to come out hard in the third quarter and make runs. They were going to try to hit us early and we just stuck with it. They even came back and took the lead, which is something we've been struggling with all season, but we pushed through that.''
James started the fourth quarter on the bench and the Nets took advantage. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored six quick points, and the Cavs' lead was 92-90 before the Nets hit them with the decisive spurt.
''I don't think we started the game with a lot of energy,'' James said. ''I think we expended a lot coming back in that third quarter to try to get back in the game, which we did, and then we had a rough start to the fourth quarter, kind of gave them momentum back.
Brooklyn led 59-49 at halftime, with the Cavs going 3 for 18 beyond the arc.
Irving finished 1 for 8 on 3s, J.R. Smith was 2 for 8, Love missed all five and Channing Frye was 1 for 6.
''We didn't make shots tonight but that's the not the biggest thing,'' Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. ''The biggest thing for me is just competing for 48 minutes.''
Cavaliers: Lue didn't want to discuss what he talked about with James following the Cavs' blowout loss in Miami on Saturday. Cleveland.com reported Thursday that Lue spoke to him after the game after feeling James spent too much time talking to Dwyane Wade at halftime instead of warming up. ''LeBron's the leader of this team, we had a great talk and that's it,'' Lue said.
Nets: Larkin and Sergey Karasev got the start in the backcourt and Larkin will get the job the rest of the season as the Nets focus on seeing who they want to keep on the roster going forward. Brown said the evaluation process could even mean veterans Lopez and Thaddeus Young could get certain games off so younger players could get more time.
NEW TEAM, OLD LOOK
The Nets unveiled the logo and uniforms for the Long Island Nets, their NBA Development League affiliate that will debut next season. The red, white and blue color scheme is a nod to the franchise's past, as the New York Nets wore those colors when they played in the ABA from 1972-76. The team will play its first season at Barclays Center before moving to the renovated Nassau Coliseum in 2017-18.
HE'S NO. 2
Lopez moved past Vince Carter into second place on the Nets' career scoring list with 8,835 points. Buck Williams is the career leader with 10,440.
Cavaliers: Visit New York on Saturday.
Nets: Host Indiana on Saturday.