Despite playing one of the East’s elite teams on the road, the struggling Nets (2-23) hung tough for most of the game tonight, eventually falling to the Cavs (18-7) in Cleveland 99-89.
Overall, outside of the first quarter where the Nets gave up 30 points, the team played much better defense tonight, going against one of the league’s better offensive teams and holding them to 22 points in the second quarter and 47 points in the second half. The Nets went to a zone defense after the first quarter, which seemed to be working for them.
Devin Harris was ejected at the 3:48 mark after committing a flagrant foul on a Jamario Moon layup attempt. He definitely swiped at Moon’s neck, which is a no-no, but even after the replays, it looked like a nice hard foul on Moon. I can’t kill Devin for that, and I hope the league doesn’t penalize him beyond the ejection. As for the game, Devin overcame a rough shooting start (2-10 in the first half) and finished with 22 points on 7-18 shooting.
Nets hung around by going 18-23 from the free throw line in the first half, but only shot 6 more free throws in the second half.
Speaking of poor second halves, Brook Lopez was on pace for a monster game with 20 points and 9 rebounds at the end of the first half, but only scored 2 points in the second half and attempted just two shots in the fourth quarter. He did finish the game with 15 rebounds.
While e-mailing Sebastian in the third quarter, I was threatening Rafer Alston with bodily harm after he missed some jumpers in the third, but he got hot in the fourth, and finished with 20 points on 7-14 shooting and 4-7 from three.
Rough night for Terrence Williams who finished with 1 point and some botched defensive assignments.
LeBron James finished wit 23 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and managed to get up in Devin’s face after the flagrant in the fourth. He also did his best Vince Carter impersonation crying to the officials after nearly every call and non-call.