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Cavs Hold Off, Finish Off Nets

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The Nets season ended with a flurry of Cleveland threes in the fourth quarter Friday night at the Meadowlands. The Nets came back from 22 down to close within one point, but could never get over the hump and a 19-4 Cavs run down the stretch sent them to the Eastern Conference Finals and the Nets into an offseason full of questions. Cleveland finished the first quarter on a 23-4 run to lead by 17 and then built the lead to 22 before the Nets closed it to 15 at the half. Jason Kidd then led a 22-8 third quarter, scoring 12 of his 19 points in the period. The Nets had several chances to tie or take the lead, but couldn't get the big basket, and consecutive threes from Daniel Gibson and Donyell Marshall with about eight minutes to go in the game gave the Cavs seperation that the Nets could never recover from. Kidd added 12 boards and eight assists and Richard Jefferson finished with 16 points and eight boards, but Vince Carter shot just 4-for-11 for 11 points and had more turnovers (five) than assists (four). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kidd is only the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for the entire postseason. Only Oscar Robertson had done it in the past, and that was only one round.