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Nets 108, Cavaliers 97

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NEW YORK — The Brooklyn Nets continued their near-impeccable play at the Barclays Center with a 108-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

The victory was the Nets’ 12th straight at home and snapped a two-game losing streak after overtime losses in New Orleans and Charlotte.

Since Dec. 27, the Nets are 19-2 at home, the best home mark in the NBA.

Home cooking was needed as guard Paul Pierce used a big first half on his way to a team-leading 22 points.

Pierce led an offense that received significant contributions from the bench as six different players scored in double figures. Guards Alan Anderson (13) and Marcus Thornton (10) combined for 23 points and three assists as the Nets bench outscored Cleveland’s 42-14.

The Cavaliers are without guard Kyrie Irving, who has been out with a strained bicep since March 16. Guard Jarrett Jack served admirably, as he has for the past two weeks, with nine points and seven assists, but a Cavaliers offense that had been averaging 104 points per game during a three-game winning streak entering Friday was stifled all evening.

Forward Luol Deng led the Cavaliers with 20 points and six assists.

Leading by double digits for a majority of the game, the Nets, who had given up a 22-point lead to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, lost what was once a 15-point lead when the Cavaliers pulled within five toward the end of the third quarter.

There would not be a repeat of Tuesday night for Brooklyn as the Nets outscored the Cavaliers 21-17 in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

The Nets have been a side to start hot and Friday night was no exception. Pierce set a blazing pace for Brooklyn, hitting his first four three-point shots on his way to 17 points in the first quarter. He and Williams combined to score the team’s first 22 points (Pierce 17, Williams 5).

The Cavaliers climbed back, outscoring the Nets 22-12 to tie the score as Pierce looked to have re-tweaked his left shoulder, leaving the game midway through the first quarter. He returned five minutes into the second quarter.

A 12-0 run from the Nets to start the second quickly re-established a healthy lead as the bench picked up the scoring, building an 11-point halftime lead.

NOTES: Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving did not play Friday night as he continues to nurse a strained left biceps. Irving injured the biceps on March 16. … The Nets entered Friday night having lost two consecutive games. It is the first time since Jan. 27-Feb. 1 that the Nets have lost two or more games in a row. … The Cavaliers were attempting to cancel out a recent four-game losing streak, having won their last three with victories over the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons. … The Cavaliers are the second-youngest team in the NBA with an average roster age of 24.5 years old. The Nets are the league’s second-oldest club with an average age of 29.1. … The Nets are 18-2 at home since Dec. 27, best in the NBA.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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