NEW YORK – Brooklyn Nets grabbed second in the Eastern Conference with Pizza on Sunday night, one of the team’s most impressive plays of the season during the 123-109 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. S
In the final seconds of the first half, Blake Griffin intercepted Cedi Osman’s freaky attempt to save the ball from bouncing off the field. Griffin dribbled up the court to Cairi Irving by spinning the right-back ball. Irving then threw the ball to Mike James, who was in the 3-point line.
James put the ball up from the back for Kevin Durant to slash it down in a Harlem Golebotter-style finish that led a crowd with limited capacity in Barclays. The center came to the foot, clearing the Nets bench with excitement, and also received a smile from referee Marat Kogut.
“It felt like it was put on record for us,”; Durant said. “It happened so fast, I didn’t think we were going to force anything, and usually these are the best dramas when it happens spontaneously. I’m excited to be a part of it. ”
James was relieved that Durant had finished playing.
“I was a little nervous,” said James, smiling. “If it was going to be bad, I thought my Nets career would be over.”
Griffin later joked that he was the professional of the whole job.
“Listen, I don’t like to slap myself on the back,” said Gryffindor with a grin. “But I did that started. I yelled at everyone to take it off, I gave it to Kyrie, then I yelled at Kyrie to pass it to Mike, and I told Mike to throw it off the backrest. I didn’t tell him anything, I didn’t want to give credit to it. They did it. I just dictated from behind. “
Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said from his vantage point on the sidelines he was wondering: “Do we think we’re cute now? ”
The Nets beat Cleveland in the final game of the season on Sunday. They pulled the win without James Harden, who was sitting for a hamstring rest in the second night of a back-to-back game. The victory means the Milwaukee Bucks will be third in the playoffs and face the Miami Heat in the first round, while the nets will face the winner of the Boston Celtics against the Washington Wizards.
Sunday’s match marks the third time Durant has played both back-to-back games this season, he finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists Irving has. 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists, James added 14 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists off the bench.
Irving scored 8 of 10 from the field on Sunday and 1 in 2 from 3-point range, and he is a perfect 6 of 6 at the free-throw line. His performance has earned Irving the position of the “50/40/90” club – reserved for players shooting 50% or better, 40% or better from 3-point distance and at least 90% on free throws.
Irving has shot 50.6% off the field this season, 40.2% in 3 seconds and 90.2% from the free-throw line. He joins Larry Bird, Stephen Curry and Durant as the only player to average at least 25 points per game during the 50-40-90 season.
“A wonderful season from Ky,” says Durant. “He’s the guy who can pick it up from anywhere on the floor at any time. Amazing. The 50/40/90 point guard was impressive to me. I’m very happy for Kyrie and I’m sure this won’t be his last. “
Irving did not speak to journalists after the game.
Nets also had no Joe Harris, who was diagnosed with left sciatica. After the game, Nash said that while he expects Harden to be ready to train with the team on Tuesday, Harris may miss out on a few training sessions this week.
“There are instances where he might not have been training all week. But that’s okay, ”Nash said of Harris. “He’s been playing for minutes this year and we want him to keep himself the best he can and not chase it through the playoffs and let it go. Practice this week. “
With Harden unavailable on Sunday, the Nets ended the regular season, with the Big Three playing just eight games together. None of the three goalscorers of teams played less than 10 games together and won the title.
Lakers’ 2000-01 top goalscorers Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal played only 10 games together and they earned the title. But they had also played together in the previous season. Durant said he was not concerned about not having time with Harden and Irving to create chemistry.
“I think we’re the ‘Big 15,'” Durant said of his team. “Yes, we will be fine.”