D’Angelo Russell put in 14 of his 36 points in triple overtime, as the Nets escaped into the All-Star break with a narrow win on the road against the lowly Cavaliers.
However, when the Nets needed their All-Star the most, Russell delivered. After a tough loss in Toronto on Monday, the Nets looked to finish off the first half of the season with a win in Cleveland.
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The Nets ran into a Cavaliers team that came out with lots of energy and looked to upset the upstart Nets in the final game before the All-Star break. After a fairly even game throughout the first four quarters, the teams would go back and forth in the first and second overtimes.
With the Nets down three with three seconds to go, DeMarre Carroll hit a difficult shot off a ball fake from 3 to send the game into a third overtime. From that point on, Russell took over and led the Nets to victory.
Russell scored 14 points in the third overtime to seal the Cavs’ fate and propel the Nets to a 30-29 record at the All-Star break. The Brooklyn Nets are now over the .500 mark at the break for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
Russell only shot 13-of-30 from the field, 5-for-15 from the 3-point line and had seven turnovers, but erupted late, going 6-for-6 in the third overtime.
Russell’s efforts saved the Nets from a disappointing loss and end to the first half of the season. His play in the third overtime was a complete change from his play in the first half.
Despite missing 10 of his first 11 shots in the game, Russell never lost confidence and his shot came back around at the right time.
The Nets tried everything to get Russell going in the first half. When he started to hit a few shots in the second half, the Nets’ offense had more flow and pace to it. Joe Harris helped keep the Nets running in the first half and finished with 25 points, making 4-of-5 from 3.
Carroll had 18 points and the game-tying shot to force the final overtime period and Jarrett Allen protected the rim with six blocked shots as the Nets’ entire team contributed to this marathon win.
Being 30-29 at the All-Star break sounds a lot better than 29-30 and it was only fitting that the Nets lone All-Star selection would lead them to victory in their final game before All-Star Weekend.
With the Nets’ rough schedule after the break, Russell and company helped themselves out greatly with this close road win.