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Cavaliers take anger out on Nets with 91-78 rout

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Prior to Wednesday night's matchup against the Cavaliers, Nets interim coach Tony Brown said he expects the Cavs to be "breathing fire" after the blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Tony Brown doesn't lie.

The Cavaliers came into Brooklyn and put on a show, defeating the Nets 91-78 on Wednesday night. LeBron James may've lost the spotlight to Stephen Curry, but he's certainly still the King of the Eastern Conference.

Remember when he was a primary free agent target for the Nets back in New Jersey, but they ended up with Travis Outlaw instead? Maybe I shouldn't bring that up. Times are tough enough.

The Nets are now 11-32 on the season and 7-16 at home. They're just 1-8 since Jarrett Jack went down on January 2nd.

We're trying to look at it from an optimistic standpoint, but there isn't much to be optimistic about right now.

The first quarter wasn't THAT bad. But the second quarter is where things got ugly, as the Cavaliers went up by 13 by the end of the half. Kevin Love, whose been heavily criticized of late, notched a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds in the half.

Love finished with 17 points and 18 rebounds in limited second half, while LeBron put home 17 points with no shortage of statement dunks in the first quarter.

The Nets battled and cut the deficit down to seven early in the third quarter, but the Cavs answered right back and went up by 18 heading into the fourth. It was the second quarter of the night that the Nets were held to less than 20 points. Can't win that way.

So, as we say prematurely almost every night: Game over.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Thaddeus Young chipped in 14 and fouled out late in the fourth quarter.  Donald Sloan helped with 12 points and nine assists, but zero other Nets finished in double figures -- namely Joe Johnson whose scored in double figures seven straight games prior to Wednesday. Instead, Joe finished with three points on 1-of-7 shooting.

It wasn't the turnovers that did Brooklyn in, but rather the poor shooting (42 percent) and lack of free throws (4-of-8). Meanwhile, Cleveland was on the opposite end of the spectrum in both categories. They shot 47 percent and attempted 20 free throws on the night. They also fastened the pace with 16 fast break points to Brooklyn's four.

Shane Larkin and Donald Sloan combined for 16 of Brooklyn's 20 assists.

Kyrie Irving was quiet in this one (nine points, five assists), but Tristian Thompson came off the bench and injected some energy into the Cavs with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Timofey Mozgov added 11 points in 20 minutes.

Next up: The Utah Jazz will be in town Friday night at 7:30.

For more on the Cleveland Cavaliers, check them out at Fear The Sword.