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Cavs Keep It Close In 117-112 Loss To The Nets

 Brooklyn Nets at Cleveland Cavaliers
Christian Hinton
Brooklyn Nets at Cleveland Cavaliers

Though the Cleveland Cavaliers came into their Monday night matchup against the Brooklyn Nets with a three-game losing skid, they had some reinforcements back in the starting lineup in Jarrett Allen and Lauri Markkanen.

Despite their losing streak, their strong start has them in the sixth position in the Eastern Conference standings.

As for the Nets, stars James Harden and Kevin Durant have led Brooklyn to an early 12-5 record — not surprisingly one of the NBA's best and most talented teams.

The Nets have a noticeable face missing in former Cavalier Kyrie Irving. Who, due to his non-COVID-19 vaccination status, is unable to play under the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Game summary

The first quarter was relatively slow for both teams until the last couple of minutes, as the Cavs were able to string some buckets together and go on a run.

A 5-11 start from three — two of the deep makes from Markkanen — allowed the Cavs to maintain a small lead to end the first quarter, 27-24.

The second quarter remained closely contested, but the biggest difference so far between these teams was the offensive percentages.

In the first half, the Cavs shot 36% from three with 44% overall and led 63-52. The difference came from the Nets, who posted an abysmal 25% from three (5-20) and 40% overall.

For the Cavs to close the game out and win the second half against this talented team, their high-efficiency offense and attack on defense had to continue into the second half, and maybe even improve.

Their effort on both ends of the floor continued into the third quarter for the Cavs, but unfortunately, momentum grew for the Nets. Strong efforts from LaMarcus Aldridge (17 points, 8 rebounds at the end of the third) and Durant (19 points at the end of the third) allowed the Nets to take an 84-82 lead heading to the fourth.

As both teams traded one made basket after another in the fourth, the game remained deadlocked for the majority of the quarter. Though each team attempted to make a run with under two minutes, the Nets were able to successfully do so and maintain the lead to end the game.

The Cavs (9-9) dropped this one 117-112. They have another shot at their 10th win of the season Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns.

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Christian Hinton