Cleveland forced two overtime periods and then pulled away thanks to Colin Sexton going supernova. It was the first time that the Nets’ big three had played, and was certainly an embarrassing loss for them.
Can the Nets get some measure of revenge?
Catch this game live on Saturday, January 23, at 8:30 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Cleveland Cavaliers (7-7, 4-3 at home)
Colin Sexton showed a glimpse of superstar potential in a very special game against the Nets, finishing with 42 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
He was also responsible for 23 straight points for the Cavs. He scored the last five points in the first OT to help tie the game, and then had another 15 in a row before he dished out to Taurean Prince, who made another triple to put the game beyond doubt.
Cedi Osman also had a solid game with 25 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. The rest of the Cavs also chipped in, and one more bucket from Isaac Okoro would have made it so that every single player who took the floor scored in double digits.
It’s hard to expect a repeat of Sexton’s last performance, but he’s going to need one to beat a motivated Nets team.
ROAD TEAM: Brooklyn Nets (9-7, 2-3 on the road)
The Nets aren’t going to be happy about that loss. They probably thought they’d get a triumphant debut out of the big three, but Sexton’s exploits put an end to that.
Let’s be clear, though, the trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving have the potential to be one of the greatest offenses in league history. Durant had 38 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. Harden had a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Irving had 37 points, two rebounds, and four assists. However, the biggest question about the Nets is who gets the ball in the game’s biggest moments. In the two overtimes, Irving was often seen burying his head and looking to take a jumper. If they’re going to succeed, he truly needs to embrace the fact that he has two Hall-of-Famer teammates.
Irving took four pull-up jumpers in the second overtime period, making only one of them. There’s got to be better shots than that when Durant and Harden are also on the floor. The other two aren’t absolved either, because they couldn’t make their shots either.
The Nets simply have too much talent, and too much to prove to lose twice to the Cavaliers. Expect them to come back with a vengeance in a 120-110 win.