LIVE: Brooklyn Nets at Cleveland Cavaliers
7:00 PM ET
Brooklyn Nets at Cleveland Cavaliers
Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, Ohio
A pair of Eastern Conference teams take the floor on the shores of Lake Erie searching for a win. The Brooklyn Nets are on the road as they travel to face the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night. Brooklyn was in action in the Big Apple on Sunday evening, beating the Knicks 103-101 in a crosstown matchup. Cleveland knocked off Portland 110-104 at home Saturday night to get back in the win column. The Cavaliers own a 102-78 edge in the all-time regular season series between the teams but the Nets took three of four meetings last season: that includes a 113-107 home win in the most recent matchup on March 6, 2019.
Brooklyn Nets Play Second Game of Back to BackBrooklyn was in action Sunday as they faced the Knicks so this will be their third game in four nights here. The Nets enter this one fourth in the Atlantic Division, 3.5 games behind the Celtics for the top spot. Brooklyn led by seven after the opening quarter, by six at the half and by 10 after three quarters before holding off a Knicks’ charge to earn the win. The Nets saw their lead trimmed to two with 0.4 seconds to play but came up with the smart play as they inbounded the ball off the Knicks to run out the clock. Brooklyn shot 40.3 percent from the field, including 14 of 38 from three-point range, and overcame the Knicks drilling 18 of 35 three-point attempts. Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 30 points in the win.
The Nets enter this contest tied for 7th in the league by averaging 113.7 points per game on the year. Brooklyn is fourth in the league in rebounding by pulling down 47.9 boards a night while they are tied for 22nd by dishing out 22.9 assists per game. The Nets are a dismal 22nd in scoring defense as they allow 115.3 points per game this year. Kyrie Irving leads the team with 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists a night on the season. Caris LeVert chips in 16.8 points per contest while Spencer Dinwiddie contributes 18.9 points and 5.2 assists a game. Joe Harris (13.5 points) and Taurean Prince (12.7 points, 6.1 rebounds) are solid contributors but getting more offense their big man duo of Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan would help take the load off their backcourt group. Brooklyn is 19th in field goal percentage by shooting 45 percent from the field as a team this season. The Nets are tied for 11th in threes per game by knocking down 12.5 triples per contest while ranking 24th in the league by hitting 34.1 percent from beyond the arc on the year. LeVert is out four to six weeks with a thumb injury while Irving is dealing with a shoulder impingement that has cost him the last five games: he has been ruled out for the team’s three-game road trip that continues here and includes what would have been his first return to Boston.
Cleveland Cavaliers Seeking Back to Back WinsCleveland snapped a six-game losing skid as they managed to take down a slumping Portland team on Saturday night at home. The Cavaliers, who enter this one tied for the basement in the Central Division, eight games back of Milwaukee, look for back to back wins for just the second time all season. Cleveland was tied afer the opening quarter, closed the first half on a 10-4 run to open a seven-point lead at the half and used a 9-2 run to open the second half to go up 14. The Cavaliers never trailed in the second half, allowing Portland to get no closer than two. Cleveland shot 43 percent from the field, including 10 of 31 from three-point range, and controlled the glass by a 51-38 margin. Jordan Clarkson led the Cavaliers with 28 points off the bench in the win.
The Cavaliers are 28th in the league in scoring this season with 104.3 points per game. Cleveland is 21st in rebounding with 43.9 caroms a night while the team stands 29th with 19.7 assists per contest. The Cavaliers are below average defensively, ranking 19th in scoring defense by allowing 111.6 points per game. Kevin Love leads the team with 17.9 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest this year. Collin Sexton (17.8 points), Tristan Thompson (14.9 points, 9.9 rebounds) and Jordan Clarkson (14.4 points) are scoring in double figures on the year. Larry Nance Jr. (9.9 points, seven rebounds), Cedi Osman, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. are key pieces of the rotation for the Cavaliers. Cleveland is 27th in the league by shooting 43.2 percent from the field. The Cavaliers are tied for 23rd in the league in made threes with 10.5 triples a night while ranking 26th in three-point shooting by shooting 33.1 percent from downtown.
The Nets are going to be a little tired playing their third game in four nights here but the fact remains that they have played better without Irving than they had with him this season. Brooklyn seems to be more in sync offensively without their big free-agent acquisition as the ball moves around and guys step up to make plays. Cleveland took down Portland Saturday night but the Trail Blazers are reeling at the moment. The Cavaliers are very inconsistent, which is to be expected with a team full of young guys and a new coach. Give Brooklyn the upper hand here as they get the victory with Dinwiddie leading the way.
Brooklyn comes into this one 4-1 in their latest stretch without Irving and winners of three straight to get back to the .500 mark on the year. The Nets have been slightly better offensively on the road (113.9 ppg) compared to at home (113.5) though their defense has struggled as the visiting team to the tune of 118.7 points per contest. Cleveland has been far more efficient offensively at home (107.6 ppg) than on the road (101.8 ppg) on the year and they have a rest advantage. Can the Cavaliers capitalize on the factors in their favor and prevail here?
The over is 4-1 in the Nets’ last 5 Monday games. Cleveland has seen the over go 7-0 in their last seven on Monday and 21-8 in their last 29 on one day of rest. The over is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings between the teams in Cleveland: look for this one to end up a few points over the total as both teams pile up some points.