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Nets beat Cavs; Varejao, Irving star for Cleveland
Brooklyn, NY (Sports Network) - Deron Williams had 26 points and 10 assists and the Brooklyn Nets used a big second quarter to record a 114-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center.
Joe Johnson scored nine of his 25 points in a second period in which Brooklyn outscored the Cavaliers by a 35-12 count before holding on for its third consecutive victory. Brook Lopez added 23 points for the Nets, who shot a solid 54.5 percent from the field and led by as many as 24 in the second half.
"It was nice that we played together," Williams said. "You don't want to have to rely on one or two guys every night. "We all just want to contribute and play well together."
Cleveland closed out a six-game road trip with its fourth loss in a row despite tremendous individual performances from Anderson Varejao and Kyrie Irving.
Varejao poured in a career-high 35 points while pulling down 18 rebounds, with Irving also establishing a personal best with 34 points to go along with eight assists.
The Cavaliers had a slim 30-29 edge after one quarter behind a dominating display from Varejao, with the Cleveland big man knocking down 7-of-8 shots for 17 points and grabbing seven rebounds. However, Brooklyn scored the first 11 points of the second to take control from there.
Johnson netted the final five points of the run, with the high-profile offseason acquisition ending it with 1-of-2 free throws that gave the Nets a 10-point cushion with 7:54 left in the half. The lead would grow to 14 less than three minutes afterward, when Andray Blatche threw down a dunk off a Johnson feed for a 48-34 score.
The Nets continued to close out the half with a flourish, with Kris Humphries tallying the last four points of a 12-4 spurt over the final 2 1/2 minutes that sent Brooklyn into the locker room owning a commanding 64-42 advantage.
Brooklyn was up 81-57 with four minutes to go in the third quarter, but the Cavaliers outscored the Nets by an 18-4 margin over the remainder of the period to cut their deficit to 10. Irving fueled the comeback attempt by amassing 10 points during that stretch.
That was as close as Cleveland would get, however. The Nets scored six of the first seven points of the fourth quarter to take a 91-76 lead and maintained a cushion of at least 11 points the rest of the way.
"They hit us in the mouth on both ends of the floor," Irving said. "We didn't execute. We got in a hole, and its hard to fight back against a good team like that."
The Nets have won three straight games for the first time since Mar. 28-31 of last season and have prevailed in six of their last eight meetings with the Cavs ... Irving's previous career high also took place against the Nets, when the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year scored 32 in a loss to then-New Jersey on Jan. 27, 2012 ... Varajao's prior career best was 26 points, set against Chicago on Jan. 9, 2009 ... Cleveland rookie guard Dion Waiters, who was averaging 15.4 points coming into the contest, finished with just eight on 3- of-16 shooting.
11/14 00:45:11 ET