The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Brooklyn Nets 125-113.
It was the second of back-to-back games against the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers came out on top yet again. Cleveland won in double-overtime on Wednesday and were able to win this game in regulation. The Nets were without Kevin Durant for this matchup while the Cavs were the healthiest they’ve been in quite some time.
There is on particular area where Cleveland absolutely dominated Brooklyn, points in the paint. The Cavs were able to score 70 in the paint while the Nets scored 46. That is a huge differential and without a doubt led to the Cavaliers victory.
Return of SexLand
While Collin Sexton led the Cavs scoring effort in back-to-back games, (including a career-high 42 on Wednesday), it was the return of Darius Garland which brought some excitement. The Cavaliers backcourt duo better known as SexLand is back in effect and that is very exciting. Sexton set a team record with his 10th straight game with 20 or more points to begin a season.
Meanwhile Garland was able to come back in a limited capacity and show some chemistry with the recently acquired Jarrett Allen. Garland scored 11 points and assisted on 3 baskets in his minutes restricted return.
Allen and Prince step up
Jarrett Allen scored 19 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench. Allen was able to click with the aforementioned Darius Garland and could be formidable combination moving forward. It seems like any growing pains with the new arrivals may be short lived and possibility non-existent.
Taurean Prince had himself quite the night against his former team finished with 14 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block in 22 minutes. Prince made 3 of 5 shots from the field (2-3 3PT) and made all six free throw attempts. Originally considered a throw-in or afterthought in the grand scheme of the trade, Prince could be a nice piece of the bench moving forward.
Larry Nance Jr. continues to shine
The breakout continues, Larry Nance Jr. has made the transformation from fan favorite hometown hero who comes off the bench to legitimate starter for the Cavaliers. Nance makes an impact in so many facets of the game that he is becoming a better player than anyone could have imagined. The NBA leader in deflections in steals had a double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. Currently this is great to see, but a conversation will be necessary once Kevin Love returns.
A new double-double streak for Andre Drummond?
Andre Drummond saw his double-double streak come to an end last time out, but is getting started on a new one. The Cavaliers starting center scored 19 points and corralled 16 boards en route to his 13th double-double of the season. It really seems like if Drummond is going so are the Cavs. Cleveland has an interesting dynamic at the center position and should consider keeping them together rather than splitting them apart.
The return of Dylan Windler
Dylan Windler made his long awaited return and was fairly impressive in 16 minutes off the bench. Windler made both of his three-point attempts, finishing with 6 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assists, and 1 steal. With the team moving on from Kevin Porter Jr., Windler becomes a much more important piece for Cleveland. It seems like after a couple of false starts that Windler has the ability to be a productive player for the Cavaliers.