Finally! The last game is upon us and the regular season is coming to an end as the playoffs are just days away. The Nets hoped to solidify their fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and finish off the season on a good note. But, they were without Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Shaun Livingston, and Mirza Teletovic in this one, proving to be a tough battle for the second unit.
The Nets struggled to overcome the absence of their star players and got blown out in Cleveland, 114-85. With the Nets loss and Wizards win Wednesday night, the Nets finished the season as the sixth seed. They will face the Toronto Raptors this Saturday in their second straight journey to the championship.
Obviously with the entire starting lineup out, the expectations weren't very high. To surprise some, the Nets stayed close with the Cavs in the early minutes of the first quarter, but for the second straight night they struggled on the defensive side of the ball. The score was was 33-21, in favor of the Cavaliers. The Cavs finished the quarter 65% from the field, the Nets at 47%.
The Nets tightened up their defense in the second quarter and as a result, they turned the entire game around. They outscored Cleveland 28-18, behind the likes of Marcus Thornton, who led all scorers with 14 points on 5-12 shooting. Brooklyn finished the quarter shooting 46% from the field and were heavily lifted by their solid 6-12 shooting from three.
The Nets offense was also led by Andray Blatche (11 points), Jorge Gutierrez (10 points), and Jason Collins' eight points. You read that right, Jason Collins scored eight points and shot 3-6 from the field in just 18 minutes of play. The reserves for Brooklyn were playing with some passion in this one.
Score at the half: Cavaliers 51, Nets 49.
One step forward, then two steps back. The Nets cut the deficit down to two before the half ended, but they returned to same style they played in the first quarter -- weak defense and poor offense. Kyrie Irving emerged as a legitimate threat for Cleveland in the third quarter, scoring eight points in the quarter alone with a total of 15 heading into the fourth quarter. The Cavs held the Nets to just 15 points in the quarter and led Brooklyn 81-64.
The Bulls lost in Charlotte just as the Nets were in the late stages of the third quarter. Therefore, with a Nets win in Cleveland, they would face Chicago in the first round. With a loss and a Wizards win, the Nets would play the Toronto Raptors.
If you were confused about the term 'dog days', you should have watched the fourth quarter. The Nets were playing for essentially nothing at this point, being down 17 with only seven active players isn't exactly the ideal situation. With six minutes remaining in the game, Cleveland went up 25 with a 102-77 lead. Game over.
Marcus Thornton scored 20 points, while Andray Blatche chipped in 17 points. Jorge Gutierrez had another solid game with 12 points on 5-11 shooting.
For Cleveland, Tyler Zeller led the way with 22 points, followed by Dion Waiter's 19 points and Kyrie Irving's 15 points. While the Cavaliers had a scorching hot offensive night, they held the Nets to just 38% shooting.
The Nets finished this roller coaster season on a three game losing streak. The started the season with a loss in Cleveland, and they ended their season with a loss in Cleveland. At least they're consistent!
Final score: Cavaliers 114, Nets 85.
With the Wizards victory over Boston and the Nets loss in this game, the Nets have officially ended the season as the sixth seed. What does this mean? They begin their expedition to a championship this Saturday in Toronto. The Nets split the season series with the Raptors, 2-2.
Brooklyn Nets 2013-2014 final record: 44-38.
As always, thanks to our readers who have made this another great season. We look forward to the second straight season in the playoffs, and hope for an entertaining series against Toronto!
For more on the Cleveland Cavaliers, check them out at Fear The Sword.
- Nets at Cavaliers boxscore - NBA.com
- Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets at Cleveland Cavaliers, 8:00 PM - NetsDaily
- 2nd Half Game Thread: Nets at Cavs - NetsDaily
- Nets vs. Cavaliers (Video) - NBA.com
- Board and Back Up (Video) - NBA.com
- Cavaliers Passing Clinic (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets sit starters, lose to Cavaliers, 114-85, in regular season finale - AP
- Nets, who were crushed by Cavaliers, will face Raptors in first round of NBA playoffs - Justin Tasch - New York Daily News
- Nets fall to the Cavaliers, will face Raptors as sixth seed - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets draw Raptors in first round of playoffs - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets Get 6th Seed and Will Face Raptors - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Kidd sits starters in loss to Cavs, get sixth seed - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- The Nets are living the Knicks' dream - Stephen A. Smith - ESPN New York
- Rapid Reaction: Cavaliers 114, Nets 85 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets officially the six seed, will play Toronto - Brian Erni - SNY Nets
- Cavaliers 114, Nets 85: The Crapfest is Finally Over (GAME GRADES) - Daniel Savitzky - The Brooklyn Game
- The Morning After: Time to Get Serious? - Daniel Savitzky - The Brooklyn Game
- Brooklyn Nets-Toronto Raptors Playoff Schedule - Daniel Savitzky - The Brooklyn Game