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Need to Know: Williams limped to the locker room in the second quarter accompanied by trainer Tim Walsh and did not return. He told reporters after the game the calf was tight in the first quarter. He will have an MRI Saturday and expects to return Sunday against Detroit.
James (22 points on 7-for-18 shooting) moved past Charles Barkley (23,757) for 23rd on NBA's all-time scoring list. Mike Miller, playing his first game after missing seven with a concussion, had 21 on seven threes in his first start of the season.
Joe Johnson led the Nets with 26 points; his three cut the Cavs' lead to 94-91 with 41 seconds left. Brooklyn, which led by 11 in the first half, was outscored 24-8 at the free-throw line.
Kevin Garnett returned after resting Wednesday against Toronto and missed a potential game-tying three-pointer with 1.4 seconds left. Johnson couldn't cleanly handle a pass on the possession and passed off to Garnett.
The Nets have struggled offensively against teams with .500 or better records this season, putting up just 90.2 points per game while shooting 40.5 percent overall and 25.5 percent from three-point range; all three of those statistics rank last in the league.
Kevin Love (6 points, 14 rebounds) failed to record a double-double for the second time in his last seven against the Nets.
The Nets are 9-2 against teams with losing records; their next five opponents are all under .500.
What's next: The Nets return home to host Detroit Sunday at 6 p.m.