Cavs move to 0-4 with 102-86 loss to Nets
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - Scoring in the NBA has skyrocketed in the 2018-19 season. Only one team in the league entered Wednesday averaging less than 100 points per game (Boston Celtics), while 21 teams began the day averaging at least 110 points per outing. Included in those 21 teams is the Cleveland Cavaliers, which entered Wednesday night’s matchup with the Brooklyn Nets averaging 112.7 points per game. Unfortunately for the Cavs, they didn’t come near that total at home against the Nets on Wednesday night.
The Cavs fell to 0-4 this season after a 102-86 throttling by the Nets in Quicken Loans Arena, the third game this season they’ve lost by double-digits. Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue is searching for answers.
“Any time you lose it’s tough, but we just have to try to continue to learn from it,” Lue said.
Several Cavaliers are learning new roles this season. Three Cavaliers led Cleveland with 14 points apiece (Kevin Love, Colin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson). Shooting guard Rodney Hood was the only other Cavalier to reach double-figures in scoring (10 points).
The Cavs were sluggish from the opening tip and trailed 24-17 when the first quarter ended. The 17 points in the quarter was Cleveland’s lowest output in any quarter this season, but the Cavs began showing signs of life in the second quarter.
After receiving zero points from their bench in the first quarter, the Cavs got 12 points from the reserves in the second quarter, six from spark plug Jordan Clarkson, to take a 45-all tie into halftime. The 45 points scored was the Cavs’ lowest total in any half this season. And when both teams returned from the locker room, the Nets seemed like the only team that made the necessary adjusts to take over the game.
Brooklyn opened the second half with a 15-4 run, capped by a Caris LeVert layup that gave the Nets a 60-49 lead. By the time Nets center Jarrett Allen slammed a putback dunk with 2:52 remaining in the third, Brooklyn had secured a 76-56 lead, and the game had quickly gotten out of hand. Brooklyn led 83-62 when the third quarter ended and never looked back.
“Giving up 38 points in the third quarter really hurt us,” Lue said. “We got to be able to sustain it. I thought we did a good job in the first half of being physical, fighting over screens and even competing when we weren’t making shots.
“In that third quarter, we weren’t making shots, so I think it kind of let our defense down.”
Nine Nets players had at least eight points, while the entire Brooklyn starting lineup finished with double-figures in scoring. Ohio State product D’Angelo Russell led Brooklyn with 18 points, while former Cavalier Joe Harris totaled 16 points and six rebounds.
In today’s NBA, it’s difficult to imagine that the Cavs will have many off-shooting nights like the one they had on Wednesday, shooting just 38 percent from the field.
Cleveland will attempt to get their first win of the season on Thursday in Detroit against the Pistons.
POSTED 10/24/2018 21:50