The Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers will meet for the second time in three days after a crazy contest on Wednesday night. The Nets erased a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter to force overtime in Cleveland. They went to overtime, and then another overtime against the Cavaliers.
When the dust settled, the Cavaliers emerged with a big upset by a score of 147-135. The Cavs stayed hot in the second overtime, while the Nets cooled off and scored just 8 points compared to 20 points for the home side. It was a great look for the Cavs, a team that hasn’t had too much success since Lebron James left for Los Angeles.
The Cavaliers are looking for their third straight win following victories against the New York Knicks, 106-103, and the 147-135 win in overtime against the Nets. The Knicks are getting better and better this season, so that win shouldn’t be overlooked by the Cavaliers. It was a good win for them, and it wasn’t just a mediocre team beating another bad team. In any case, the Cavaliers have a lot of work to do before they are regarded as anything better than a .500 squad.
They might need Collin Sexton to go off again for the Cavaliers to spring another upset against the Nets tonight. Sexton went wild for 42 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists to lead the Cavaliers to the win on Wednesday. Note that 20 points of his 42 points were scored in overtime, in a row. He was the difference maker in extra time, while Kevin Durant and James Harden were outshined by the 22-year-old.
Sexton’s 42 points was a career-high for the youngster out of Alabama. The Cavaliers might need another performance like that from Sexton, or someone else on the roster to step up and go wild on Friday night to complete back-to-back upsets over the Nets. Tough ask against a very talented Brooklyn team. Despite the loss for the Nets, they are capable of a lot better than we saw in that outing. Head below for our free Nets vs. Cavaliers pick on January 22, 2021.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Betting Odds:
Nets vs. Cavaliers Prediction:
The Brooklyn Nets may not have been at their best against the Cavaliers, but can do a lot better than what we saw on Wednesday. This isn’t a team that’s built to lose against the Cavaliers. Having said that, upsets happen to the best of teams, it’s how teams respond to an upset that can show their true grit.
That was Kyrie Irving’s first game back in the lineup since taking a personal leave from the team. As he gets back into a rhythm, the Nets will begin to hum on the court. Despite Irving’s absence from the team, and the Nets only recently trading for James Harden, the Nets are still second in the NBA with 120.3 points scored per game.
There aren’t any other teams in the league that can have their two best players, from their current roster, on the shelf and say that they’re second in the league in scoring. Along with 120.3 points per game, the Nets are first from the field with a 49.1% field goal percentage. Durant has been on fire with 31.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 6 rebounds per game.
Durant doesn’t look like a guy that is coming off Achilles surgery. He hasn’t missed a beat, and looks like a player motivated to go back to the NBA Finals with a different team. There is going to be some help from Harden if that happens, but this is clearly Durant’s team. Despite Sexton going off for 20 straight points in overtime to lead the Cavs, their offense has largely been inconsistent.
The Cavs are 29th in the league with 102.9 points scored per game. If they’re going to do what they did on Wednesday, then I think the Nets are going to need to be ill-prepared again. However, I don’t see that happening this time around. After getting upset by the Cavs, expect a much better performance from the Nets on Friday night. Look for a more motivated Nets team to come out firing on all cylinders in what is likely a double-digit win.