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A 35-Point Turnaround Sinks Nets...and their Season

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Early in the third quarter, the most optimistic Nets fans might have thought they spotted a ray of hope amid the late season gloom. Up by 14 points, New Jersey appeared to be in command and maybe, just maybe, ready to push the Hawks a bit. Alas, it was a mirage. The Cavs outscored the Nets 51-16 the rest of the way, led by Lebon James who wound up with 33. Atlanta's magic number is now one. Although late game collapses have marked the Nets' season, this one was pure futility. Looking tired, both physically and mentally, the Nets failed to score on 10 straight possessions, missing 19 straight field goal attempts. Vince Carter, who had 15 at halftime, was high scorer for New Jersey with 19. Richard Jefferson scored 15 but the two Nets combined for 9-for-29 shooting. Boki Nachbar finished with 15 points. Josh Boone sat out with an ailing knee and DeSagana Diop filled in, scoring six points and grabbing nine boards. He and Nenad Krstic committed nine fouls in a combined 49 minutes. Four Cavs had between 12 and 14 points.