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

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cavs at Nets

Barclays Center
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

1. The biggest story line of the game wasn't the royal couple in attendance. It was the performance of the Cavaliers' bench. It outscored the Nets bench, 59-42. Guard Dion Waiters was sensational with a season-high 26 points and four assists. He had been in a total funk and has reached double figures in scoring just once in his previous nine games. 

2. The return of guard Matthew Dellavedova might have straightened out the Cavs' bench woes. He made his first appearance in a game since Dec. 4 in Portland. He missed the previous 15 games with a sprained knee. He'll be All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving's backup.

3. Of course, giving James Jones some regular minutes will help the bench scoring. He fired in a season-high 12 points in 14 minutes against the Nets.

4. Nets center Brook Lopez was sidelined with a lower back strain. The 7-foot, 275-pounder is expected to miss at least four games. He is usually a load to defend for the Cavs, who don't have any legitimate players that size. Brendan Haywood is on the roster, but doesn't really play any meaningful minutes. Lopez is averaging about 16 points and 6 rebounds.

5. Old warrior Kevin Garnett stepped in at center. He finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. He'll probably make that 18-foot jumper until he's 50.

6. The Cavaliers pounded the Nets on the boards, 55-33. That domination started in the third quarter when Kevin Love had nine of his 14 rebounds. The Cavs had three players reach double figures in rebounding. Anderson Varejao also had 14 rebounds and Tristan Thompson 12. Overall, they've been pretty ordinary in the rebounding department this year. It was time they imposed their will on a good team. OK, they don't have a rim protector. What's that have to do with boxing out and outworking the opposition?

7. The Cavaliers extended their winning streak to seven in a row. They put the finishing touches on an impressive 3-0 road trip. This is the first night of another back-to-back set. The real test might come on Tuesday vs. Toronto at The Q. That's going to be a battle.

8. During the streak, the Cavaliers are winning by an average margin of 15 points. The Cavs are averaging 105.7 points and shooting 50.7 percent as a team. Defensively, they are limiting opponents to 90.7 points and holding them to 42.3 percent shooting.

9. The Cavs have won 10 consecutive games when scoring at least 100 points. They are 11-1 when reaching the century mark this season.

10. Irving had averaged 26 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.3 steals in his previous four games. He was held to just seven points against the Nets. He missed his first six shots from the field and never got in any kind of rhythm.

11. The Cavs saw old friends Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev. Both were traded to the Nets in the offseason when the Cavs were trying to shed salary to sign LeBron James. Karasev had 11 points off the bench.

UP NEXT: vs. Toronto, Quicken Loans Arena, 7 p.m. Tuesday

SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Alan Anderson (6-6, 220)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Mirza Teletovic (6-9, 242)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Kevin Garnett (6-11, 253)
SG Shawn Marion (6-7, 228) vs. Bojan Bogdanovic (6-8, 216)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Deron Williams (6-3, 200)
Cavs - G/F Mike Miller, C Alex Kirk
Nets - F Andrei Kirilenko, C Brook Lopez
Ken Mauer, Brent Barnaky, Derrick Collins


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