EditorsNote: update 2: changes to "62-32" in fourth graf
Collin Sexton followed up the best game of his career by totaling 25 points and a season-high nine assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers took control in the third quarter and posted a 125-113 victory over the visiting Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.
Two nights after scoring a career-high 42 points in Cleveland's wild 147-135 double-overtime win over the Nets, Sexton helped the Cavaliers get their third straight win. He scored eight points in the third when Cleveland dominated by outscoring the Nets 37-24 and forcing eight turnovers.
Former Net Jarrett Allen added 19 with a 7-of-9 shooting display that included a few dunks over former teammate Joe Harris. Andre Drummond posted his 13th double-double by collecting 19 points and 16 rebounds to help the Cavaliers to a commanding 70-44 margin in the paint.
Larry Nance Jr. added 15 points and 10 rebounds while former Net Taurean Prince contributed 14 for the Cavaliers, who shot 51.7 percent and outrebounded the Nets by a whopping 62-32 margin.
Kyrie Irving scored 38 points in his second game from a two-week absence, but it was not enough for the Nets, who rested Kevin Durant ahead of the back end of a back-to-back against Miami. James Harden added 19 points and 11 assists for the Nets, who shot 48.3 percent but also misfired on 29 of 43 3-point tries.
Brooklyn briefly held a 70-69 lead with 7:47 left on a 3-pointer by Harden but Cleveland ripped off a 14-2 run for an 83-72 lead on a 3-point play by Sexton 2 1/2 minutes later. After the Nets were within 91-84 on a 3-pointer by Jeff Green with 1:53 left, Cleveland scored the next seven points and held a 98-84 lead into the fourth.
Brooklyn cut the deficit to 10 points five times in the fourth but each time Cleveland immediately scored. Brooklyn's last 10-point deficit was 111-101 with 4:37 remaining on two free throws by Irving but Drummond hit a seven-footer in the lane on the next possession and following a missed 3-pointer by Harden, Sexton connected with Isaac Okoro for a layup that made it 115-102 with 3:30 left and essentially sealed the win.
--Field Level Media