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Nets 89, Cavaliers 82

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets suffered another third-quarter letdown but survived to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 89-82 Saturday night at Barclays Center.

Guard Deron Williams had 21 points and six assists, guard Paul Pierce had 17 points and five assists and forward Andray Blatche came off the bench to score 12 points for the Nets (12-21), who won back-to-back games for only the second time this season.

Pierce passed Allen Iverson for 19th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

Guard Dion Waiters scored a game-high 26 points, guard C.J. Miles had 19 points and eight rebounds and guard Matthew Dellavedova added 13 points, including 4-of-4 shooting from 3-point range, as the Cavaliers (11-22) lost for the seventh time in their last eight games.

The Nets' third-quarter woes continued as Cleveland opened the second half on a 10-3 run, capped by a 3-pointer by forward Earl Clark to cut the deficit to 54-48 with 8:37 left in the third quarter.

Waiters twice brought the Cavaliers within three points, the second on a pull-up jumper with 3:15 left in the quarter. Miles buried a 3-pointer to tie the score at 58 with 2:33 left in the third and Dellavedova knocked down his fourth trey to give Cleveland its first lead since the first quarter.

However, the Nets, who were outscored 27-16 in the third, regained their lead on a 3-pointer by forward Mirza Teletovic and took a 67-65 advantage into the fourth quarter.

With the Nets clinging to a two-point lead early in the fourth quarter, Brooklyn went on a 7-0 run, capped by back-to-back Blatche buckets, to regain control of the game.

In his fifth start of the year, forward Reggie Evans had a strong first quarter, with eight points and six rebounds to help Brooklyn to a 22-17 lead.

Cleveland shot 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from the field in the first quarter, scoring just 17 points -- the fewest for a Nets opponent in the opening quarter this season.

Pierce's layup sparked a 13-3 run that gave Brooklyn, in its first game of a four-game homestand, its largest lead of the game at 48-34.

Led by Williams, who had 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first half, the Nets went into halftime with a 51-38 lead.

NOTES: Nets C Brook Lopez underwent surgery Saturday morning to repair the fractured fifth metatarsal of his right foot, the team announced. It was the third surgery on the foot for Lopez, who was averaging a team-high 20.7 points with six rebounds through 17 games before the Dec. 20 injury. "With this procedure, we both fixed the broken bone in Brook's right foot and repositioned another bone so that his sole of his foot will bear weight more evenly than before," Nets medical director Dr. Riley Williams III said. ... Nets F Kevin Garnett (rest) missed Saturday's game. "We have I think five games this week so this would be a good opportunity to get him some rest going into the week," coach Jason Kidd said. ... Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving (left knee contusion) was out. ... The Cavs return home to take on Indiana on Sunday.
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