Game 8: Cavs at Nets
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs got fabulous efforts from Anderson Varejao and Kyrie Irving, but it was not nearly enough.
The Cavs finished the six-game road trip with a 1-5 record, which is not acceptable. That's why a team can't allow a sure win to evaporate in thin air like it did in Phoenix last week. A 2-4 record sounds a whole lot better than 1-5.
The Nets totally rebuilt their team in the offseason, bringing in nine new players. They were playing without two of their rotational players on Tuesday in guard MarShon Brooks and forward Gerald Wallace. In the end, it didn't matter.
The Cavs would have been right in the game had they not totally flopped in the second quarter when they were outscored, 35-12.
The Cavs' bench has been amiss all season. It might not have been worse than it was on Tuesday when it was outscored, 28-6. Even Boobie Gibson, who has been very good, was held scoreless.
If they truly cared about winning games this season, they'd go out and sign someone. But that's not what it's all about this year. They'll probably stick with this collection of mediocrity for now. There's got to be better end-of-the-roster players out there.
Getting Cavs center Tyler Zeller (fractured cheekbone/concussion) back will help the second unit. There's a chance he could play on Saturday against Dallas. He's awaiting clearance in the NBA's concussion protocol. He's been missed. The Cavs have lost their last four games with him out of the lineup.
Coincidence? Maybe. But he's needed on the talent-thin second team.
Varejao ended with a career-high 35 points and 18 rebounds. He made 16 of 21 from the field.
Irving finished with a career-high 34 points and eight assists.
The Nets had three players score 20 or more points, led by Deron Williams' 26. Joe Johnson added 25 and Brook Lopez 23.
UP NEXT: The Cavs will host Dallas at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Keith Bogans (6-5, 215)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 235) vs. Kris Humphries (6-9, 235)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Brook Lopez (7-0, 265)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Joe Johnson (6-7, 240)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Deron Williams (6-3, 209)
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, C Tyler Zeller
Nets - F Gerald Wallace, G MarShon Brooks
Ed Malloy, Curtis Blair, Kane Fitzgerald