Cleveland Cavaliers fall short in Brooklyn, drop to 8th in playoff race

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) passes the ball around Cleveland Cavaliers guard Caris...
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) passes the ball around Cleveland Cavaliers guard Caris LeVert (3) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday April 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)(Bebeto Matthews | AP)
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 10:01 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Hopefully for the Cleveland Cavaliers, this was not a playoff preview.

In a key matchup for play-in positioning, the Brooklyn Nets pulled away late to defeat the Cavs 118-107 Friday night at Barclays Center.

Kevin Durant led the Nets with 36 points, including 16 in the first quarter as Brooklyn jumped out to a 34-19 lead after one.

Kyrie Irving and Bruce Brown added 18 apiece.

The Nets led 62-54 at halftime but Cleveland rallied to take its first lead, 82-81, on an Isaac Okoro layup with 3:29 left in the 3rd.

Cleveland posted an 11-0 run late in that period and led 88-83 after three periods.

However, Brooklyn outscored the Cavs 35-19 in the fourth to put the game away.

“I thought they did a wonderful job,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “You give Kyrie and K-D a chance, they make you pay over and over again.”

With the win, Brooklyn jumps to 7th in the play-in seedings and Cleveland drops to 8th.

The 7 and 8 teams square off in next week’s play-in tournament.

Star rookie Evan Mobley returned from a 4-game absence for the Cavs, tallying 17 points and 7 rebounds in 34 minutes.

Darius Garland was Cleveland’s high scorer with 31 points.

Cleveland has one game remaining, Sunday at 3:30 p.m. against MIlwaukee at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

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