Many of them did not give much of the skin of the Cavaliers in this “play-in” against the Nets. And despite that combativeness that characterizes them so much, the young Cavs could not deny the forecasts of the different observers on the court, since the New York franchise enforced the logic at home (115-108).
With experience and authority, the teammates of Kyrie Irving (34 points, 12 assists) and Kevin Durant (25 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists) delivered a generally convincing performance in this ax game. Here they are now qualified for the playoffs, where a completely different piece will await them in the first round, namely the Celtics.
For their part, the Cleveland players will still have to fight to reach the playoffs, as they will challenge the winner of the duel between the Hawks and the Hornets on Friday night, in a final game of the playoffs. Good news for Darius Garland (34 points, 5 assists) and his family: this time it will be in Ohio…
WHAT TO REMEMBER
— brooklyn and pattern. Far more experienced than their afternoon opponents, the Nets were (almost) unshaken in this play-in. Quickly installed in control of the game (+20 after a quarter), thanks to a true show of collective force, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and others recited their scales, before gradually lowering the intensity throughout the game. Dominating on the racket, without Jarrett Allen, Steve Nash’s men did their work on the opposing defense and, when it came to repelling the Cavs late in the game, they pressed precisely where they needed to be: near the circle.
— Cleveland never gave up. No miracle for the Cavaliers, in bad dynamics for a month and logically fired by these Nets. First hammered in all compartments of the game, to the point of chasing the scoreboard all evening, JB Bickerstaff’s men have not let up so far. Led by veterans Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo, then youngsters Darius Garland and Evan Mobley, they were able to turn around to give themselves a chance to recover after halftime. And force Brooklyn to roll up their sleeves again to validate their victory.
— Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant without forcing. Eager to get their teammates involved as much as possible, the two All-Stars are visibly aware that the Nets’ salvation will only come through an effective team. In the metronomes, therefore, they sought to create games for themselves and for others, spoiling very little. More low-key than usual but no less menacing, Durant focused more on organization and defense, letting Irving score regardless of his defense. A true one man show of the leader, who allowed the winger to be preserved, to better kill the Cavs at “money-time.”
✅ Darius Garland. Heroic for his first appearance beyond the regular season, the Cavaliers’ leader kept rank from him tonight. Sometimes supported by Kevin Love, sometimes supported by Evan Mobley, sometimes supported by Rajon Rondo, sometimes supported by Lauri Markkanen, Garland has never failed to fuel his team’s scoring, to allow them not to fall behind by more than 20 points. of the first. fourth part. As an All-Star that he is, Cleveland’s still elegant frontman was great and he’ll have to replicate that performance Friday night in order to make the playoffs for the first time.
✅ bruce brown. Like Andre Drummond (16 points, 8 rebounds) or Nic Claxton (13 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocks), Brown took great advantage of the changes created by Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to punish the Cavaliers. In the oven and in the mill, as usual, the “glue” of the Nets finished with 18 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals. In that role of free electron, always available at the head of the racket or near the throwing line, he repeatedly relieved the Irving / Durant duo, to score or send his guts to mate. The kind of Swiss Army Knife Steve Nash can’t live without.
⛔ Caris LeVert. If Isaac Okoro and Cedi Osman didn’t really shine either, they can’t forget LeVert’s performance. Expected as one of the main replacements for Darius Garland, the former Nets player failed on the court of his former team: 12 points, 4/12 shooting. Dominated on defense and never inspired on offense, aside from his slight fourth-quarter overflow that embellished his stat sheet, he’ll need to catch up on Friday night because otherwise he won’t stop being put under fire from the critics. , for his offensive irregularity.
⛔ seth curry. Back from injury but probably still hampered by his ankle, Curry watered like he rarely did. In 34 minutes, he hasn’t scored a single basket (0/4 to 3 points), not a single point! Despite some excellent shooting positions, the Brooklyn guard was surprisingly hesitant on several occasions, which is unusual for him. As if that were not enough, and proof of his difficulties of the day, he was slow to find his bearings on the ground, losing two balls almost in a row, due to a foot contact, before the break.
brooklyn : Travel to Boston on Sunday night to kick off this first round of the playoffs.
cleveland : reception of Atlanta or Charlotte, on the night of Friday to Saturday, to win the 8th place in the East.