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Cam Thomas, Mikal Bridges combine for 54 points as Nets pull away from injury-riddled Cavaliers 120-101

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cam Thomas scored 29 points in 31 minutes, Mikal Bridges had 25 points and the Brooklyn Nets pulled away to beat the injury-riddled Cleveland Cavaliers 120-101 on Sunday night.

Dennis Schroder added 17 points and eight assists, and Nic Claxton had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Brooklyn, which built a 26-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. The Nets only trailed for 1:41 in the game, all early in the third period.

Georges Niang scored 20 points and Jarrett Allen had 15 points and nine rebounds for Cleveland, which fell a half-game behind Milwaukee into third place in the Eastern Conference. Darius Garland had 14 points and five assists.

Cavaliers shooting guard Donovan Mitchell missed his sixth straight game because of soreness in his left knee, but resumed on-court work earlier in the day. The five-time All-Star is the fifth-leading scorer in the NBA at 28.0 points per game.

Cleveland also was without two additional starters in forwards Evan Mobley (left ankle sprain) and Max Strus (right knee strain), along with backup big man Dean Wade (personal reasons).

The Cavaliers took their first lead at 53-52 on Isaac Okoro’s layup to open the second half, but the Nets answered with a 44-27 run behind 11 points apiece from Thomas and Bridges. Thomas and Schroder each made 40-footers during the surge.

Brooklyn is 1-2 on a six-game trip that ends March 17 against San Antonio in Austin, Texas. The Nets only play one home game between March 7-27, occurring March 19 against New Orleans.

Nets guard Lonnie Walker IV returned after sitting out Saturday at Charlotte with an illness, but forward Cam Johnson missed his third consecutive game because of a sprained right ankle. Interim coach Kevin Ollie said Johnson is considered day-to-day.

UP NEXT

Nets: At Orlando on Wednesday night.

Cavaliers: Host Phoenix on Monday night.