The Brooklyn Nets ended the season on Sunday by capping off a five-game winning streak with an easy victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. This win was a little revenge for what happened earlier this season, as the Cavs beat the Nets in both of their previous matchups. Former Cavalier Kyrie Irving set the tone in the first half. He went for 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Uncle Drew also had 0 turnovers with a plus-minus of +17.
Mike James (12 PTS, 3 ASTS) had himself a half too. James was a spark for this team off the bench and he helped to slow down Cleveland from getting back into this one in the second quarter. The Nets barely won the second quarter 33-23 after outscoring the Cavaliers 34-24 in that first period.
The highlight above is arguably the play of the year. It also summed up how the second half was: the Nets just cruising to victory. Kevin Durant (23 PTS, 13 ASTS, 8 REBS, 8-10 FG), Kyrie Irving (17 PTS, 3 3PM) finished with the team highs as Brooklyn outscored the Cavaliers 32-20 in the third period. They earned themselves some rest in the fourth quarter.
In that period Landry Shamet (12 PTS, 4-8 FG), Bruce Brown (12 PTS, 4 REBS, 4 ASTS) and Tyler Johnson (10 PTS) added to their tallies to put the finishing touches on the Cavaliers along with their regular season. They took the win 123-109.
Kyrie Irving makes history
Kyrie Irving completed his 50/40/90 season after entering the night averaging shooting 50% from the field, 39% from three and 92% from the free throw line. Against Cleveland he went 7-of-11 from the field and 3-of-3 from downtown. Irving didn't shoot any free throws so his percentages at the strike is still 92%. The only other players in NBA history to ever do this are Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Malcolm Brogdon, Steph Curry, Dirk Nowitzki, Mark Price, his teammate Kevin Durant and his coach Steve Nash.
Mike James has become Mr. Reliable
Mike James is showing time and time again that he can be Mr. Reliable off the bench. James recorded 14 points, 8 assists, and rebounds. If the Nets guard can continue bringing instant offense for Brooklyn, the playoffs are looking unfair if you run into this team. They're locked and loaded on this end.
The defense is holding strong
Brooklyn kept Cleveland under 25 points in two quarter this game: The first quarter (24 PTS) and the third quarter (20). A concern for this team heading into the postseason is whether or not they will be able to defend. They are now coming off of two games where we have been able to see shades of their defensive potential. Now it's all a matter of staying consistent.