He base Collin Sexton, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, was once again the executioner of the Brooklyn Nets, which they left with the second consecutive loss (125-113) in the two games they have had so far this week.
This time there was neither suspense nor did the match have to be defined in double overtime as it happened in the first. The Cavaliers won it easily after Sexton contributed 25 points and nine assists. The Cavaliers beat the Nets for the second time in three days, the first in the debut of the new
Big 3 of the NBA, which this Friday they did not repeat as star forward Kevin Durant was out. The absence of Durant, who played 50 minutes against Ohio in the last game of the Nets, was due to precautionary measures so that he does not force his return to the competition after having missed the entire 2019-20 season with a break of the Achilles tendon of the right leg.
Starter Andre Drummond had a double-double of 19 points with 16 rebounds and reserve Jarret Allen, acquired from the Nets in the Harden trade deal on January 14, also had a leading role with 19 points and six balls captured under the hoops. .Power forward Larry Nance Jr. scored 15 points for the Cavaliers who have won three straight games and went 8-7.
Although the Nets had the support of 38 points that Irving got as the leading scorer, they still did not show team chemistry and that cost them the loss again. Harden added a double-double of 19 points and 11 assists and power forward Jeff Green scored 13 points, while forward Joe Harris, with seven rebounds, was the best under the basket. The Nets did not do good defense or play a leading role in the inside game, where the Cavaliers grabbed 50 rebounds, just 29 for the Brooklyn team (9-8), which has a 2-4 losing record on the road.
Irving scored back-to-back to open the third quarter putting Brooklyn up 61-64 before the Cavaliers responded with a 28-11 streak that gave them the lead on the scoreboard and did not give it up the rest of the way. The Cleveland team’s biggest lead was 16 points at the end of the third period. Irving had 18 points and Harden had another 10 and eight assists in the first half, but the Cavaliers had a 61-60 lead.
Cleveland was up 34-33 after the first with Sexton and Allen, who each had six points. Cavaliers guard Darius Garland returned after missing eight games with a sprained right shoulder and rookie Dylan Windler played for the first time since breaking his left hand on Dec. 23. The Nets started with their 11th different quintet in 17 games with freshman coach Steve Nash of Canada.