Nets cruise, top the Cavaliers, 108-97, winning their 12th straight at home

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN - Coming off a road trip where they Nets played three straight overtime games, losing two and winning one, Brooklyn was happy to be home where they entered Friday night having won 11 straight games at Barclays.

Standing on the other side of the court was a Cleveland Cavaliers team that somehow is still in the playoff hunt with a 29-44 record and without their best player, Kyrie Irving. The Nets, however, were also missing two key players in Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko, but as is typical these days, they continued to roll at home, beating the Cavaliers 108-97.

Kevin Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko remained out for the Nets, while Kyrie Irving was unavailable for the Cavaliers. Marcus Thornton, who was out with a back injury, returned to the lineup.

Brooklyn was happy to be home, for sure, as they got out to a 9-0 lead right out of the gate, hitting three straight threes. Prior to the game Jason Kidd was asked if the team was going to continue to flex their three-point shooting muscle, and Kidd responded, "as long as we keep making them."

Paul Pierce caught fire early, hitting his first four 3-point attempts, and scoring 17 points in the first five-plus minutes of the game. But, midway through the quarter Pierce exited the game and was sent to the locker room with a shoulder injury, but returned to play in the second quarter.

Cleveland, however, was dominant in the paint, led by Spencer Hawes and Luol Deng who each scored nine points in the first quarter. They were able to tie up the game after one, at 29-29.

The Nets' bench, led by Thornton and Alan Anderson, went on an early 12-0 second-quarter run, holding the Cavs scoreless for the first four minutes of the quarter. Thornton scored seven points in the second, while Anderson went for nine. The offensive burst was enough to build a 61-50 lead as they headed into halftime.

Deron Williams dunked in the early minutes of the third quarter, and there was absolutely no question about that one. He picked a steal from Jarrett Jack and flushed a clean one.

What felt like a 20-point lead, however, hovered around 11-14 points for most of the third quarter. Mirza Teletovic hit back-to-back threes, Joe Johnson kept in rhythm, but the Nets just couldn't get any stops to really blow this game wide open.

Cleveland pulled to within five points, as Dion Waiters gave them fits in the third, and after three the Nets led 85-77.

Brooklyn's bench was once again carrying the Nets, with Anderson, Teletovic, Blatche and Thornton all feeling it early on in the fourth. Teletovic, of course, played the role of the 'stretch,' while Blatche worked the inside. Anderson was all over the court, making stops on defense and getting those timely Anderson-like buckets.

In the end, the Nets handled their business, winning their 12th straight at home, beating the Cavaliers 108-97.

Pierce finished with 22 points, while Anderson had 13 and Williams went for 13 and five assists.

Up next for the Nets, Sunday night at home against the Timberwolves.

For more on the Cavaliers, see: Fear The Sword

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