NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 28th
(All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (29-44) at Brooklyn Nets (37-33), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets are getting closer to setting the
franchise mark for consecutive wins at home.
The Nets aim for their 12th straight victory at the Barclays Center Friday
versus the Cleveland Cavaliers and the franchise record is 13 set twice during
Brooklyn, which has a 23-11 record at Barclays Center, is 18-2 in its last 20
home games and hasn't lost on its floor since Jan. 31 versus Oklahoma City.
While the Nets have blossomed at home, the road has been a different issue.
The Nets lost the last two portions of a three-game road to New Orleans and
Charlotte, and are just 2-4 in the past six away games. In Wednesday's 116-111
overtime loss to the Bobcats, Deron Williams led the way with 29 points and
seven assists, while Mirza Teletovic and Joe Johnson scored 22 and 18 points,
Chris Douglas-Roberts put the dagger into Brooklyn with a big shot toward the
end of overtime and Al Jefferson racked up 35 points and 15 rebounds. The Nets
were outscored 11-6 in overtime.
"I thought the defense was great, but in the end, we come up with a blocked
shot, the ball bounces, and you know CDR (Douglas-Roberts), he makes a shot
with the shot clock winding down and so everybody executed," said Nets head
coach Jason Kidd. "The ball just bounced their way tonight."
Kidd hopes the ball bounces back to Brooklyn on this upcoming three-game
homestand versus Cleveland, Minnesota and Houston.
The Nets are fifth in the Eastern Conference -- 2 1/2 games behind Toronto and
Chicago for the third spot and 1 1/2 games ahead of Washington.
In milestone news, Johnson is 19 points shy of becoming the 15th active player
to score 17,000 points. Johnson has scored 15 or more points in each of the
last seven games.
Nets guard Marcus Thornton (back) is questionable Friday.
Cleveland will try to stretch its winning streak to four games against the
Nets and is unbeaten over the last three after losing four straight and eight
of 10 contests.
The Cavaliers are coming off Wednesday's 97-96 victory over the Detroit
Pistons, as Dion Waiters buried the game-winning basket as time expired and
finished with 18 points. The Cavs trailed by as many as 16 points in the
fourth quarter and outscored Detroit 31-14 in the stanza.
Waiters' baseline shot capped a 10-0 run.
"I knew that it was good when I let it go," said Waiters, who is averaging
22.8 points in his six recent starts. "I was comfortable, he (Pistons guard
Rodney Stuckey) let me get to my patented move almost. It was up to me just to
make a shot."
The shot was the first buzzer-beater for the Cavs since Mo Williams beat the
Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 24, 2010.
Matthew Dellavedova scored a career-high 21 points, Jarrett Jack added 17 and
Anderson Varejao was a force off the bench with 12 points and 16 rebounds.
Jack is averaging 16.7 points in his last six games for the Cavs, whose bench
posted a 45-17 advantage.
Cavs head coach Mike Brown has 301 wins with the Cavs and Bill Fitch (304) is
next on the list. Lenny Wilkins had 316 wins with Cleveland.
Cleveland, which has won four of five road games and is 13-24 away from home,
is still alive in the playoff chase at three games behind Atlanta for the
eighth spot. New York is 1 1/2 games off the pace.
The Cavs and Nets have split a pair of meetings this season with each team
holding serve as the host. The Nets have won five of the past six in this
series and are unbeaten in the previous four home meetings.
03/28 10:30:52 ET