BROOKLYN -- The county of Kings, home of the Brooklyn Nets. That's Brooklyn. The important royalty isn't just in the slogan. It was on hand at the Barclays Center Monday night, where Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge were in attendance to take in the NBA's "King," LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers match up against the Nets of Kings County.
With the royal couple watching, along with Jay-Z and Beyonce, not to mention Odell Beckham Jr., the Cleveland Cavaliers came into Brooklyn with basketball-only intentions. Behind huge nights from Dion Waiters and Kevin Love, the Cavaliers easily routed Brooklyn, 110-88. It marks the eighth game the Nets have lost against a team with a winning record, while having won only one.
The Nets played well, early, trailing by only one at halftime, but a 35-18 Cavs scoring advantage in the third quarter completely opened up the game for the visitor.
Deron Williams spoke on the Nets' poor third quarter after the game. "It was another bad third quarter for us. We were playing pretty well up until that point, and then LeBron just got aggressive; making plays for himself, for others. We were getting out-rebounded on the offensive glass, turning the ball over, you know one of those snowball effects where when it went bad, it went bad."
Williams finished the night with 13 points and 11 assists, a season high, but shot a poor 3-of-14.
Perhaps, it was the late-third quarter arrival of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge? The royal couple walked in to an immediate ovation from the Barclays crowd. The arrival instantly altered the crowd's attention span with most eyes and all binoculars focused the royals sitting courtside.
The Cavaliers 35-18 advantage in the third increased the Cavs lead to 18 heading into the fourth quarter. Their night looked to be done and now all of the attention shifted towards the two watching the game along with Irina Pavlova and Dikembe Mutombo. Literally. Prior to the start of the fourth quarter, Jay-Z and Beyonce walked across the court, guided by Brett Yormark until they reached the royal couple. Jay-Z could be seen mouthing the word, "Welcome."
Other than maybe a Lebron James spin move, it was the loudest the crowd got.
James, who wore 'I can't breathe' shirts along with five other Cavs' and Nets' players, scored nine of his 18 points within the first three minutes of the third quarter. While outside the arena, protestors were staging a "die-in," the Nets were collapsing. The Nets finished the night shooting 44% from the field and 21% from three. The Cavaliers also out-rebounded the Nets, 55-33, with a 20-10 advantage on the offensive glass.
Coach Hollins wasn't shy about that aspect of game...
"Take their big men and put them on our team and take our big men and put them on the other team, and then we would have had 55 rebounds. Those guys are just active and aggressive and tough. They were pounding us in the first half. They had 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, they just weren't following up with the points afterward." Hollins continued. "They were getting on possessions, so you add that with the few turnovers that we started making. It wasn't an overwhelming amount of turnovers, but it allowed them to run and then we missed shots, and it allowed them to run, and it was tough."
He did praise his guys for battling shorthanded.
"I am proud of our guys. We came out shorthanded, we did play hard, we did compete -- it's just when you are in a battle with someone like LeBron, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, sometimes, once they get it going and get it rolling."
Another tough blow for the Nets, who match up against the Chicago Bulls this Wednesday.
Top performers for Brooklyn: Kevin Garnett led all Nets' scorers with 14 points and seven rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting. After exiting the game early due to injury, Mirza Teletovic finished with 11 points and four rebounds. Here's a few new ones: Jerome Jordan: 12 points and three rebounds on 6-of-8 shooting. Sergey Karasev. He finished with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting against his former team.
Top performers for Cleveland: Dion Waiters led all game scorers with 26 points and four assists on 11-of-21 shooting. LeBron James finished with 18 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals. Next was Kevin Love who had a fantastic day of 19 points and 14 rebounds.
Kyrie Irving finished with seven points and five assists on 1-of-9 shooting.
Injury note: Joe Johnson (ill) and Brook Lopez (back). Mirza Teletovic also exited the game in the third quarter with a hip injury plus a facial laceration. He needed four stitches.
Quarter by quarter summary:
First quarter ... With the Nets missing two of their starters in Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, their solid performance coming out of the gate was extremely unexpected. They scored 12 of their points in the paint, while shooting an overall 61% from the field and 2-for-6 from three.
The highlight: A Mirza Teletovic switch-hand reverse layup. It was a thing of beauty for the Nets' power forward, who started in place for Brook Lopez. Teletovic rewarded Coach Hollins' decision with seven points on 3-for-5 shooting. Along with Teletovic, the seven other players that logged minutes for Brooklyn scored at least one point, further solidifying their extremely fluid first quarter.
On a negative note for Brooklyn, Kevin Love was scorching. He was one of two scorers with 15 points in the first quarter, while LeBron James was the other with seven points.
The Nets led 25-22.
Second quarter ... The Cavaliers caught fire in the second quarter. They finished the second frame having outscored Brooklyn 28-24 in the quarter, while shooting 46.7% from three and 46% overall. Kevin Love and LeBron James were held scoreless in the quarter, however, Dion Waiters and James Jones got cooking. Waiters scored 13 points in the quarter on 5-for-10 shooting, while Jones chipped in nine of his own. Kyrie Irving was held scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting.
For Brooklyn, Deron Williams led with nine points on a poor 2-for-7 shooting. Kevin Garnett looked as passionate as ever, especially for a 20-year veteran. As always, Garnett was extra joyful to watch, putting up eight points and five rebounds in 11 minutes of action, but pounded his chest in triumph after a few of his key buckets. It was similar to the vintage KG. Off the bench, it was big man Jerome Jordan getting it done for Brooklyn with eight points, two rebounds and one steal.
All nine Brooklyn players that received minutes in the first half finished with at least one point. That goes with their 14 assists. They also outscored Cleveland inside the paint 28-12.
Score at the half: Cavs 50, Nets 49.
Third quarter ... The third quarter was the coming out party for Cleveland. It was a 22-6 run that gave the Cavs their biggest lead of the night at 18 with .20 seconds remaining. They outscored Brooklyn 35-18 in the quarter alone and increased their shooting to 47.8%. LeBron James gathered his game together, scoring seven points in the quarter alone combining for 16 points and seven rebounds on the night. Perhaps it was the late arrival of the royal couple?
Maybe it was the Nets' 3-for-16 shooting from three.
The Cavs led Brooklyn, 85-67.
Fourth quarter ... The Nets were down 18 heading into the fourth quarter, which meant it was Hollins' time to throw in the white towel. Hollins put unloaded his bench for the second straight game as the Nets' loss was yet again inevitable.. earlier than it should.
They were outscored 25-19 in the fourth quarter and 60-35 in the second half. It wasn't pretty.
Final score: Cavs 110, Nets 88.
The Nets will travel to Chicago this Wednesday to face off against Derrick Rose and the Bulls.
For more on the Cleveland Cavaliers, check them out at Fear The Sword.
- Deron Williams postgame (audio) - Anthony Puccio - NetsDaily
- Lionel Hollins postgame (audio) - Anthony Puccio - NetsDaily
- Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 7:30 PM - NetsDaily
- Cavaliers at Nets Boxscore - NBA.com
- 2nd Half Game Thread: Cavaliers at Nets - NetsDaily
- Jack to Plumlee (Video) - NBA.com
- Players Wear 'I Can't Breathe' T-Shirts (Video) - NBA.com
- Post Game Plus: Nets succumb to Cavs (Video) - Ryan Ruocco - YES Network
- Garnett discusses 110-88 loss to the Cavs (Video) - YES Network
- Hollins discusses Nets' loss to the Cavs (Video) - YES Network
- Jack discusses poor second-half play in loss to Cavs (Video) - YES Network
- Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take in Nets game (Video) - YES Network
- Thompson Not Moved By Royal Family (Video) - ESPN
- The King Meets The Royals (Video) - ESPN
- Thompson Not Moved By Royal Family (Video) - ESPN
The King Meets The Royals (Video) - ESPN
- Cavs Top Nets In Front Of Royals (Video) - ESPN
- Mirza Teletovic Dipsy-Doo Reverse Layup (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- LeBron James Gets Called For Rare 5-Second Violation, Kevin Garnett Rips Ball From His Hands (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets - Recap - December 08, 2014 - AP
- Nets get a royal beatdown by LeBron and the Cavs - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- The Nets will never be mistaken for royals at this rate - George Willis - New York Post
- Nets get hammered, royally, 110-88 by Cavs - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Royal Flush: LeBron's Cavs thump Nets as Will, Kate watch - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Royal couple watches Cavs dominate Nets - Rod Boone - Newsday
British Royals Watch Nets Fall to King James, Cavs - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Cleveland Cavaliers 110, Brooklyn Nets 88: King James' royal show - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Royal visit brings buzz to Barclays - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Hamilton: Jay Z assists Nets on night when King James reigns before royalty - Moke Hamilton - SNY Nets
- Royalty (England and Brooklyn) and Protest - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
Cavaliers Blow Out Nets In Distracting Night (Game Grades) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game