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Brook Lopez was absolutely dominant as the Nets topped the Cavs, 103-100

The Nets beat the Cavs 103-100 in night two of a back-to-back set.


It was Game 2 in the P.J. Carlesimo era, after the Nets blew out the Bobcats less than 24 hours ago. This time it was a tougher challenge, as the Nets had to contend with Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers - minus Anderson Varejao, of course.

Brook Lopez was dominant early ... and late, finishing with 35 points and 11 rebounds, both season highs.The point total was four shy of Lopez's career high. Lopez shot 13-of-20, becoming the third Net this season to top the 30-point mark after Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. Over the last three games, the 7-foot, 24-year-old is averaging 27.3 points and 10.7 rebounds.

It started early. Tyler Zeller, filling in for the injured Varejao, just could not contain the Nets center. He finished the first quarter with 15 points and four rebounds, and was only done in because he picked up his second foul late in the quarter. The Nets carried a 34-24 lead into the second quarter, shooting 65 percent from the floor (missing 5-of-11 free-throw attempts) in the first 12 minutes. The lead really could have been much greater, but, in all it was a well-played quarter, offensively speaking, of course.

In the second quarter, the Cavs went on a little run, cutting the lead to five against the Nets' second unit. The defense for Brooklyn was, well, underwhelming, and it certainly didn't help that C.J. Miles was having one of "those games" again, scoring 22 points in 16 first-half minutes. The Nets, however, brought their starters back in and built the lead up to 61-53 at halftime, on the back of Lopez who scored 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting.

The Nets shot 61.5 percent in the first half and out-rebounded the Cavs 22-13. Think they weren't missing Varejao?

The second half felt like Kyrie Irving was about to "show up." Fortunately for the Nets, that never happened. Through three quarters he had just 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting and six assists, yet the Cavaliers still found a way to hang in, pulling to within five, 79-74.

In the fourth quarter, the Cavs actually pulled to within one early on, but the Nets got back to spacing the floor and getting Lopez involved in the offense. Kyrie Irving hit a three with 5.4 seconds remaining to pull within one, but thanks to a few made free throws by Joe Johnson the Nets were able to take this one, 103-100.

Luckily for the Nets, Saturday just wasn't Irving's night. He finished with 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting and seven assists. C.J. Miles had some night, scoring 33 points on 11-of-15 shooting (8-of-10 from the 3-point line).

In the post-game, Carlesimo talked about how the Nets had made "little mistakes" but lamented that he and the coaching staff have yet to come up with substitution patterns that will help the Nets sustain leads. He also described Lopez's ability to get deeper down low as "night and day" better than it had been in recent games. In fact, D-Will said after the game that Carlesimo has told other Nets players not to give Lopez the ball when he's posting up more than 12-feet from the basket.

For more on the Cavs, see: Fear The Sword