Without making too much noise, the Nets are by far the best team in the Eastern Conference. They have suffered to add some of their victories, but the reality is that they continue to advance. Against the Cavaliers it was one of those cases. The Ohio franchise is doing good basketball and, despite the losses, it squeezed the New Yorkers to the point that they could only secure the victory in the final moments to beat 112-117.
They won’t have Collin Sexton all season and Evan Mobley will be absent for a few games, but Cleveland is still fighting. Despite having one of the ring candidates in front of them, the guys from JB Bickerstaff showed that they are a good team and at times they dominated Brooklyn; as much as to win by up to 10 points midway through the third quarter (76-66). It was then when the moment of the secondary ones of Steve Nash arrived. Between Patty Mills (17 points), Cam Thomas (11) and LaMarcus Aldridge (21), they made the result turn around until 82-84 with which said period ended. With the game even, it would be Kevin Durant (27 points) who would ensure the victory of the visitors from the free throw line.
Going back to Cam Thomas, this rookie may be one of the great discoveries of the course for the Nets. After scoring 46 points in 39 minutes for the Long Island Nets of the G League, last night he showed self-confidence that was unknown until now. Kevin Durant himself is happy to have him on board. “It’s nice to have a young guy like Cam involved in this,” says KD, who was returning after missing the last meeting.
With this victory the Nets have won eight of their last 10 games, a positive streak that places them in first place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 13-5. There is much ahead, but they seem to be leaving the Kyrie Irving affair behind to live focused solely on scoring victories.
Cavs, more merits than victories
That’s how it is. Cleveland is racking up praise for his game this year, but his game isn’t translating into wins lately. With last night there are already four consecutive defeats that make them fall to tenth place in the East with 9-9. Against the Nets they narrowly fell and JB Bickerstaff left so much annoyed by the refereeing work (they didn’t see him ask for a challenge in the final minutes) as if understanding that his boys deserved more.
«What is good is good and I think there were definitely some fouls that were not whistled, and that is wrong. Our boys deserve better than that. People need to change the perceived notion of who the Cavaliers are. Our boys are competing nonstop. Opponents will tell you and other coaches will tell you, so I don’t see any disconnect, ”he explains.
Regarding individual performances, Darius Garland was the team’s top scorer with 24 points; yes, with a 9 of 27 in field goals. Also noteworthy were Lauri Markkanen’s 22 points, Jarrett Allen’s double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds and the 16 goals scored by Ricky Rubio from the bench.
(Photograph by Ron Schwane / Getty Images)