The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to get one starter back for Friday's game against the Brooklyn Nets, but they'll still be short another. In fact, they're acclimating to life without J.R. Smith for the foreseeable future.
The Nets, meanwhile, have the unenviable task of facing the two teams that played for the championship last season on consecutive nights. The Nets led the Warriors by 16 at the half Thursday, but the Warriors scored 17 of the first 19 points in the third quarter and ultimately won by 16.
The Nets have lost four straight to tumble into a tie with the Philadelphia 76ers for the worst record in the NBA.
"Somehow we have to figure out when teams do turn up their juice ... that we're ready to handle it," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "Especially when you have a lead against a really good team, you know they're coming after you. We just have to figure that one out."
The Cavs and Nets are both ranked in the top 10 in scoring, but Brooklyn is last in the league in points allowed, surrendering more than 114 a night. That's not a good match for an explosive offense like Cleveland's, which is fourth in scoring. Read more...