Nets outlast Cleveland in triple overtime slugfest, enter All-Star break above .500


Final: 02/13/2019

W 148 139

The Nets never make it easy, do they?

In Brooklyn’s final game before the All-Star break, they needed three overtimes to outlast the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Down by five with under four minutes remaining, the Nets needed a final run to put the Cavs away. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Joe Harris answered the call, combining for nine points in crunch time — but neither team could pull away, as they kept trading baskets. A Caris LeVert rebound with 22.9 seconds to go — capping a strong defensive possession for Brooklyn — gave the Nets a chance to end the game.

LeVert — who already made two game-winners this season — missed a three with 1.8 seconds remaining.

A make would have electrified Brooklyn.

DeMarre Carroll kept the possession alive, but he missed the final shot in regulation, sending the game to OT tied at 109.

After a scoreless beginning to OT, Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell traded threes.

After trading baskets, Marqueese Chriss — who had 23 points and seven rebounds on the night — made a go-ahead basket with 1:11 left.

Joe Harris — off goaltending — answered, tying the game at 116 with 30 seconds to go.

Brooklyn — with multiple chances to score with under 30 seconds — got bailed out by David Nwaba foul on Russell. Russell, with 16 seconds left, knocked down both free throws.

Leading by two, Brooklyn — despite back-to-back blocks by Allen — allowed Chriss to tie the game.

Once again, the Nets had a chance to end the game, but a Jarrett Allen miss forced a second overtime period.

Then, following a three-point lead, Chriss, in the best game of his young career, perhaps, hit back-to-back three-pointers and gave the Cavaliers a three-point lead with 2:19 left. He fouled out the following possession.

Thank you, basketball gods.

Following an interception by Allen, Russell got back to the line with 1:18 left — he made both attempts. The Nets got the ball back quickly, allowing Harris to give the Nets a one-point lead after his layup.

Clarkson answered with a pull-up jumper — another two points in a career-worthy night, notably — and Cleveland’s defense stopped Allen’s shot. On the next possession, Clarkson — after Nwaba’s offensive rebound — made it a three-point game 3.8 seconds left.

But you can never question Brooklyn’s resilience.

DeMarre Carroll — who had a quiet game — drilled a game-tying three, sending the game to triple-OT.

What. Just. Happened.

D’Angelo Russell — after failing to find his groove in the first 58 minutes — took over in triple overtime. Russell scored 14 points in the frame, propelling the Nets past lowly. In the process, he didn’t miss a single shot.

Russell, surely on his way to Charlotte tomorrow, took over and sealed the game — that’s what All-Stars do, after all, showing up when you need them the most.

The Nets have an affinity for one-possession games — regardless of their opponent. In the 148-139 victory over the Cavaliers, there were 23 lead changes and 16 ties.

Entering Wednesday night, Brooklyn had lost five of their last six games, including four consecutive road losses. The Nets now enter the break with a record of 30-29, in sole possession of sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

With Dinwiddie slated to return in a few weeks, Nets fans have even more to look forward to after the All-Star break.

In the NBA, no win is guaranteed and tonight was no different. Luckily, they had a worthy All-Star and leader ready to pick up the slack.

D'Angelo Russell


The stats: 36 PTS, 13-30 FG, 5-15 3PT, 5-6 FT, 7 REB, 8 AST, 7 TO, 42 MIN

In his final game before his first All-Star appearance, D’Angelo Russell looked like his mind was focused on the upcoming festivities.

That was until the third overtime period came around.

14 of his 36 points came in triple-OT — where he was perfect from the field. Russell totaled 24 points in the three overtime periods combined.

His seven turnovers were overshadowed by his team-leading offensive output.

Russell is primed for greatness and we are ready.

Joe Harris


The stats: 25 PTS, 9-12 FG, 4-5 3PT, 3-3 FT, 4 REB, 2 AST, 1 TO, 42 MIN

Joe Harris is unconscious from beyond the arc.

Against the Raptors on Monday night, he drilled seven of his eight three-pointers.

Tonight, Harris added four more — all of which were in the first half.

However, Harris thrived inside the three-point line, making clutch baskets throughout the fourth quarter and overtime periods.

In his last two games, Harris has a combined 49 points.

Hopefully, now, Harris can bring the Three-Pointer Contest trophy back to Brooklyn.

Jarrett Allen


The stats: 10 PTS, 4-11 FG, 2-4 FT, 12 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 6 BLK, 1 TO, 41 MIN

Jarrett Allen’s strong sophomore season continued tonight.

His six blocks and presence on the glass were critical in Brooklyn’s victory.

Allen also recorded his 18th double-double of the season. He had just four last season. Still, the franchise cornerstone could use some work on his shooting touch in traffic, a few more makes from him down there and Brooklyn wouldn’t have needed multiple frames to down the Cavaliers.

Caris LeVert


The stats: 12 PTS, 5-14 FG, 2-5 3PT, 7 REB, 9 AST, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 30 MIN

In his first start since returning from injury, LeVert looked like his pre-injury self.

He used his athleticism to attack the rim and finish through contact. A healthy LeVert is a happy sight for Nets fans.

Due to his minutes restriction, LeVert rode the bench in the overtime periods. He will hopefully build on this performance after the All-Star break.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson


The stats: 17 PTS, 7-10 FG, 0-2 3PT, 3-3 FT, 5 REB, 1 STL, 2 TO, 29 MIN

Starting for Treveon Graham — who sat for personal reasons — RHJ played one of his best games of the season tonight.

Though playing limited minutes in the overtime periods, RHJ was efficient on offense and played tough, stingy defense.

When Hollis-Jefferson plays as he did tonight, Nets fans wonder how his season would be if he stayed healthy.