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Russell, Nets go off in third quarter and dominate Cavaliers, 102-86

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Just as D’Angelo Russell found his game, the Brooklyn Nets apparently did too.

Following a disappointing 20-point loss to Indiana on Sunday, Brooklyn (2-2) bounced back with a 102-86 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers (0-4) on Wednesday night.

This was the the first game that Brooklyn held their opponent to fewer than 100 points and their first time beating the Cavaliers in Cleveland in 10 games, April 2013 to be specific! As a matter of fact, the 86 points the Nets held the Cavs to are the fewest points Brooklyn has surrendered in a road game since February of 2015 at Denver (82 points).

Russell’s 18 points and eight assists had him looking like his old self, as he led the Nets through a fierce third quarter attack.

The Nets had a hard time pulling away from the Cavaliers despite the home team shooting 34 percent in the first half, but then their activity on both sides of the ball took a dramatic turn.

They held Cleveland scoreless for the first five minutes of the third quarter and went on an 18-1 run to give them an 18-point lead. Jared Dudley capped off the run with two 3-pointers, spacing the floor and displaying exactly why Kenny Atkinson has him starting these games — finishing with 12 points with four 3-pointers made.

The Nets hit 16 of 22 shots in the quarter and led by 21 following a 38-17 third quarter advantage.

On the night, they hit 14-of-34 from deep and 44 percent overall versus Cleveland who hit just three from deep and 38 percent overall. The Nets entered Wednesday with the worst turnover margin in the league and contrary to previous games, they committed 14 to Cleveland’s 15. Call it improvement, if you will.

All five starters finished in double figures, while the bench combined for 36 points, led by Ed Davis who posted 10 points and 10 rebounds in 17 minutes.

Also coming off the bench in his return, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson finished with seven points and seven rebounds, while Shabazz Napier hit two three’s and scored eight points in his Nets’ debut.

“I thought we played some good defense. We cut our turnovers down and started rebounding the ball. Those were the keys,” said Kenny Atkinson. “It was the key to the game. We told our guys at halftime they had 15 offensive rebounds. We needed to cut that down to have a chance.

WELCOME BACK, POPS

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was back in the lineup after missing the preseason with a hip injury he suffered at Jeremy Lin’s exhibition camp. Then, he missed the first three games of the season due to the birth of his son, Rylen.

In other words... Congratulations, Rondae!

NEW JERSEYS?

Brooklyn’s city edition jerseys leaked on Twitter today and NetsDaily got confirmation that they are indeed legit. You can read more about it here, but here’s a quick sneak peak:

AND BECAUSE... WHY NOT?

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For a different perspective, head on over to FearTheSword, our sister site.

The Nets will cap off their 3-game road trip against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday at 8:00 PM.