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Nets’ offense inefficient, drop 12th out of last 15 games in loss to Cavaliers in Paris

It was 31 degrees and cloudy in Paris on Thursday evening with a relative humidity of 53%. However, there was a drought inside Accor Arena through three quarters, as the Nets crumbled under another inefficient offensive night in a 111-102 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There is only so much you can say about this team’s struggles at this point. Brooklyn had not played a game since Sunday. They were well-rested with a few practices under their belt to help them find a rhythm across the pond.

The oddish logistics of Thursday’s game did not seem to impact Cleveland’s production at either end of the court in the slightest, as they dominated this game from the opening tap. The Nets had no answer for Donovan Mitchell off the bounce or Jarrett Allen on the glass. They had mustered just four points eight minutes into the game, unable to take advantage of 1-on-1 opportunities off of Cleveland’s defensive switching.

Trailing by 12 points with 4:37 left in the opening period, Cam Thomas rattled off 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting to keep the game respectable at 26-16 entering the second quarter. No other Nets player had scored more than two at that point. But the Cavaliers began the second quarter on a 14-5 run to push their lead to 18 points. They had a 54-34 advantage at halftime, handing Brooklyn its second-largest halftime deficit of the season.

The Nets did show some fight. They started stringing together stops and found some offensive rhythm, cutting their deficit to seven points with 4:51 left. But it was not enough to overcome the sizable hole they dug for themselves in the first half. Mitchell was in All-Star form down the stretch, which helped Cleveland close out the game.

Mitchell finished with 45 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and four steals, and Allen added 12 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for the Cavaliers.

Brooklyn (16-22) has now lost two straight games and 12 of its last 15 overall. Its only consecutive wins over that stretch came on Dec. 23 and Dec. 26 in back-to-back games against the Detroit Pistons.

The Nets trailed by as many as 26 points on Thursday. They were shooting 36.8% from the field and 20% from 3-point range through three quarters. They went 16-of-25 from the field and 4-of-7 from deep in the fourth quarter and outscored Cleveland 42-33.

The best thing to come out of this game for the Nets is their bench production. They outscored Cleveland’s reserves 58-38, led by Thomas’ 26 points. Lonnie Walker IV, now three games removed from a 17-game absence, added 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

Brooklyn’s starters shot a combined 14-for-28.

The Cavaliers attempted 15 more free throws 34-for-43) and made five more 3-pointers (13-of-44). The Miami Heat will visit Barclays Center on Monday.