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

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Game 32: Cavs at Nets

Barclays Center
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM), WFUN (970 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs had a chance to send it into overtime, but point guard Kyrie Irving missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

It capped off a horrible shooting night for the second-year guard. He finished with 13 points and seven assists. However, Irving shot 5 of 16 from the field, 1 of 6 from behind the arc.

Don't laugh when I say this, but I think Luke Walton has a better feel for finding the open man than Irving. Walton just has a knack for making the right pass when he has the ball. He knows how to penetrate and kick.

Walton ended with four points, four rebounds and six assists.

Swingman C.J. Miles was fantastic on the night. He had a season-high 33 points. He made 11 of 15 from the field, 8 of 10 from behind the arc. Unbelievable. He kept them in the game with his long-range shooting. He's capable of nights like that.

Also, I was impressed with how hard Tristan Thompson played. He finished with 17 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. It's his fifth double-double in the last six games.

He worked hard around the basket. After Tyler Zeller fouled out, he was forced to guard Nets center Brook Lopez, who was an absolute load in the paint. He had a season high in points (35) and rebounds (11).

He got on a roll early against Zeller and never slowed down. He was 13 of 20 from the field.

Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo is now 2-0 since taking over for the fired Avery Johnson. The Nets were 14-14 when he was dispatched.

Carlesimo has a 206-296 record as a head coach (.409), with stints in Portland, Golden State, Seattle (Oklahoma City) and now the Nets. He brings 35 years of coaching experience into his current role, but he'll be forever remembered for getting choked by Latrell Sprewell.

Rebounding machine Kris Humphries was inactive with a sore abdominal muscle. That meant more minutes for Reggie Evans, who had 10 rebounds.

The last time the Cavs were in Brooklyn, they dropped a 114-101 decision. Irving scored a career-high 34 points in the Nov. 13 game. He since broke that mark with 41 against the Knicks a few weeks later.

The Cavs are now 4-15 on the road this season.

They are having their fair share of problems. Every game, it's something else: Poor shooting, a failure to close out games, defense, turnovers and poor overall play. You name it, they've had it.

Besides an overall lack of talent on this team, it's not come together like they thought it would. Not that anyone in their right mind thought they'd be a playoff team, they've flopped miserably this season. Even for those expecting them to lose, this has been a disappointment.

They'll play without two of their three veteran players on Saturday: center Anderson Varejao and guard Daniel Gibson. This will be the sixth game in a row Varejao has missed with a bruised right knee. He said before Friday's game he can't bend the knee or push off on his right leg.

Gibson suffered a concussion in Friday's game after he got bashed in the face by Hawks forward Anthony Morrow.

The lone veteran still standing was Walton, who played 30 minutes.

Also, forward Samardo Samuels is also serving a D-League assignment.

Here's an interesting side note: Nets point guard Deron Williams and Miles were drafted by Utah in the 2005 draft. Williams was their first-round pick and Miles their second-rounder.

LAST GAME: The Cavs lost to Atlanta on Friday, 102-94.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Sacramento at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Keith Bogans (6-5, 215)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Gerald Wallace (6-7, 220)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) 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 – G Daniel Gibson, C Anderson Varejao, F Samardo Samuels
Nets - F Kris Humphries, F Josh Childress
Tom Washington, Brent Barnaky, Tony Brown


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