The Cleveland Cavaliers trounced the Brooklyn Nets 119-99 in their final game before the teams much anticipated finals rematch with the Golden State Warriors on Christmas. Kevin Love made his return to the court for the Cavaliers and hauled in 15 rebounds while scoring 14 points and Kyrie Irving tallied his fourth game in a row with at least 10 assists. The schedule gods were tough on Brooklyn, as this was the second game in as many nights for the Nets (they lost by 16 to Golden State on Thursday).
From the minute the game tipped off it was clear this would be a one sided contest. Thanks to an amazing effort on both ends of the floor by Tristan Thompson the Cavs jumped out to a 29-15 lead after the first frame and would never look back. Over the next two quarters, the Cavs would manhandle the Nets and put the game away before halftime. The Cavs absolutely crushed the Nets in every important category in the first half, it honestly looked like they were playing different sports.
#Cavs in total control at H - lead, 66-40; holding Nets to 37%FG, outrebounding BKN, 31-21; pts in paint: CLE, 40, BKN, 20.— Joe Gabriele (@CavsJoeG) December 24, 2016
By the end of the third quarter, it was time to dust off the bench.
Cleveland so thoroughly dispatched the Nets that the reserve unit of Kay Felder, Jordan McRae, Mike Dunleavy, James Jones and Channing Frye played much of the fourth quarter. Once again Felder had a nice game offensively off the bench, chipping in nine points and three assists, mostly in mop-up duty. It is heartening to see the rookie starting to come around, especially as the team is dangerously thin at the guard positions due to the recent J.R. Smith injury. Any positive minutes that Felder can give the team will be a massive boost to a team that frankly could use the help at the moment.
The Cavaliers now have a day of rest before their nationally televised Christmas Day game against the Warriors. Hopefully Cleveland was using this game a dress rehearsal for Steph Curry and company.