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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Game 18: Nets at Cavs

at Quicken Loans Arena
RADIO/TV: WTAM/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: Many fans expected a cakewalk on Friday against the Nets. Perhaps some of the players thought the same thing.

Well, it was a harsh reality when the Nets knocked them sideways. The final margin wasn't indicative of how lopsided this game was for most of the night. The Nets led by 17 in the fourth quarter before the Cavs awoke from their slumber.

The banged-up Nets have won two in a row on the road, including Wednesday's 97-90 overtime win over Philadelphia.

Point guard Deron Williams has been fantastic in the last two games, averaging 30.5 points and 10.5 assists. He scored at will on the Cavs on Friday with 27 points. He made 5 of 9 from the 3-point line.

Once the game was completely out of hand, the Cavs caught fire. Rookie guard Kyrie Irving erupted for a career-high 32 points, 21 in the fourth quarter. The last NBA rookie to score at least 21 in the fourth quarter was New Jersey's Marcus Williams on Nov. 24, 2006. Dallas guard Roddy Beaubois had 21 points in the second quarter against Golden State on March 27, 2010.

Seventeen points came in the last 2:58 of the game. His fourth-quarter outburst deflected some of the attention off the Cavs' lackluster play in the first three quarters.

Irving has now scored 20 or more points eight times this season.

The Cavs beat the Nets, 98-82, on Jan. 1. Coach Byron Scott tried to drill into his team's head that this wasn't going to be a pushover. It just didn't sink in.

The Cavs welcomed back rookie power forward Tristan Thompson, who missed the previous two games with a sprained left ankle. He had five points and three rebounds in 16 minutes.

Second-year forward Luke Harangody was sent to the D-League. The Cavs should leave him there for a while. He's not going to get any playing time on the parent club. 

The Nets were without high-scoring guard MarShon Brooks (sore left Achilles), center Brook Lopez (foot) and center Mehmet Okur (back spasms).

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Boston at 6 p.m. Sunday at TD Garden.

SF Omri Casspi (6-9, 225) vs. DeShawn Stevenson (6-5, 218)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Kris Humphries (6-9, 235)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Sheldon Williams (6-9, 250)
SG Anthony Parker (6-6, 210) vs. Anthony Morrow (6-5, 210)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Deron Williams (6-3, 209)
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, G Mychel Thompson
Nets - F Damion James, C Brook Lopez 
Dick Bavetta, Kevin Cutler, Zach Zarba


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