Cleveland At Brooklyn
When: 7:30 PM
ET, Friday, March 27, 2015
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
The Brooklyn Nets have won five of their last seven games to jump back into contention for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference but are about to run into a wall. The Nets will try to solve the surging Cleveland Cavaliers when they open up a three-game homestand on Friday. The Cavaliers have won four straight games and just got done handing the Memphis Grizzlies their worst home loss of the season on Wednesday.
Cleveland is running away with the No. 2 spot in the East and has taken the first two of its three-game road trip by a combined 40 points. The Cavaliers began their current winning streak with a 117-92 thumping of the Nets at home on March 18 in which they shot 54.9 percent from the floor and 15-of-29 from 3-point range while putting seven players in double figures. The Nets are among a group of four teams all separated by a half-game fighting for the No. 8 spot in the East.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cleveland), YES (Brooklyn)
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (47-26): Cleveland is finishing out its final multigame road trip of the season with the Nets and faced its last Western Conference opponent of the regular season in the win over the Grizzlies. The Cavaliers are 7-1 when Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James all score 20 points in the same game, and Love snapped out of a slump with 22 points against the Grizzlies. “I thought we were able to mix it up for (Love) inside and outside and he responded beautifully,” Cleveland coach David Blatt told reporters. “He really worked hard to get to his spots on the floor. He made his plays when he had opportunities and he also facilitated really well for others.”
ABOUT THE NETS (30-40): Brooklyn’s latest surge has been driven by center Brook Lopez, who is averaging 30.8 points and nine rebounds over the latest four games. The veteran big man got the better of Charlotte center Al Jefferson on Wednesday and made the key play in the 91-88 victory when he deflected an inbounds pass in the final seconds. Lopez has taken back the starting spot at center, shifting Mason Plumlee to the bench, and could see even more opportunities to score in the frontcourt with Thaddeus Young (hyperextended knee) expected to sit out Friday.
1. Cavaliers G J.R. Smith is 16-of-29 from 3-point range over the last four games.
2. Brooklyn G Joe Johnson totaled 11 points on 5-of-20 shooting in the last two games.
3. Cleveland has taken four straight in the series, including the three meetings this season by an average of 17 points.
PREDICTION: Cavaliers 106, Nets 94
Stats and Records
Brooklyn Off vs
97.2 Points For
98.6 Points Against