Garland outduels Irving as Cavs top Nets 114-107
BY TIM SHIRER
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - Today on Martin Luther King Day the young Cleveland Cavaliers set out to show the NBA that they are indeed for real as they took on the team that most analysts picked to win the Eastern Conference the Brooklyn Nets led by former Cavalier Kyrie Irving.
The Cavs entered the game with a 26-18 record after completing an impressive 5-1 western swing, losing only to the Golden State Warriors. The Nets entered the game 27-15 and with out former MVP Kevin Garnett who is out 4 to 6 weeks with a knee injury. Garland let Irving know that he has taken his place as the next great point guard for the Cavs as his team defeated the Nets 114-107.
The first quarter was as expected, fast paced and a lot of scoring as reigning Eastern Conference player of the Week Darius Garland led all scorers in the quarter with 12 points. Paddy Mills led the Nets with eight points and the Nets had a 31-30 lead as the clock expired in the first.
Things did not slow down in the second quarter as the Cavs outscored the Nets 35-28 in the quarter to take 65-59 to the locker room at halftime.
Garland continued to lead all scorers in the game with 14 points. James Harden led the Nets with 12 points at halftime. Garland and Harden each had six assists in the first half. Jarrett Allen and Garland led all rebounders with six a piece. The Cavs as a team out did the Nets on the glass 22-18.
With the arrival of the third quarter, it proved tough once again for the Cavs who had trouble in the third all season. The Nets outscored the Cavs 29-22 to grab a one-point lead heading the final quarter.
The final quarter looked like a playoff preview as part time point guard Irving was outdone by the Cavs young gun Garland to secure the win for the Cavs. With just 15.6 second left on the clock and the Cavs leading 110-107 former Cavs Irving turned the ball over when a pass from James Harden went of his hand at midcourt Isaac Okoro picked it and slammed the ball through the hoop to give the Cavs a 112-107 lead and put the Cavs in the driver seat.
Irving did win the individual point battle against Garland with 27 points to Garlands 22, but Garland did win the assist battle 12 to 9 over Irving which translated into the most important result a win for Garlands Cavs.
With the win the Cavs move into fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, one game behind the Nets for the third spot and only two games behind the Chicago Bulls for the number spot in the conference.
This was the 64th time a Cavalier has won player of the week and the second time this season as Jarrett Allen won the award in week three. Last week Garland averaged 20.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 12.8 assists in a week where the Cavaliers went 4-0.
It will not get any easier for the Cavs as they travel to Chicago on Wednesday night at 8 pm to take on the Bulls..
POSTED 01/17/2022 17:48