Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/13/12
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Joe Johnson knew that he was a much better shooter than the one who shot 36 percent during his first five games with the Brooklyn Nets. So in the morning shoot-around before the Nets took on the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night, Johnson concentrated on finding his rhythm and touch once again. "For some reason today, I felt good," said Johnson, who connected on nine-of-16 shots en route to 25 points and led the Nets past the Cavs, 114-101. "I've been shooting a lot on my own and I just felt confident in my shot. "I guess sometimes it's just the way the ball bounces. It was fun to be out there with Deron (Williams). Brook (Lopez) played big and it opened up some shots for us." Johnson nailed two 3-pointers from way beyond the arc in the fourth quarter to quell any Cavaliers run. "Joe hit some big shots," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "He made one from the parking lot. I really wasn't worried at all about Joe. He knows how to play the game." Added Joe Johnson: "I just wanted to focus after I got some good looks. I shot a couple threes in transition and that got me a little rhythm." Williams had 26 points to lead the Nets and also had 10 assists for his second double-double of the season. Lopez had 23 and seven rebounds for the winners. The victory enabled the Nets (4-2) to collect their third win in a row, while the Cavaliers (2-6) lost their fourth consecutive game. The Nets blew open a close game in the second quarter, outscoring the Cavs, 35-12, to hold a 22-point lead at the break. They then coasted home for the win, only their second blowout victory. It was impressive against Cleveland, because prior to Tuesday night, only one game between the two teams had a 10-point or more scoring margin during the last 12 meetings. The Nets' Andray Blatche had 13 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots in 19 minutes off the bench He was part of the 12-0 run that gave the Nets the lead for good in the second quarter. "To be honest, it's not just me," Blatche said. "It's been the whole team. It always feels great when you win. We've won three games in a row and I can't remember that happening to me over the last couple of years." Blatche came to the Nets in the offseason after spending some time with the Washington Wizards. Anderson Varejao was unconscious for Cleveland, scoring a game-high 35 points on 16-of-21 from the floor. It was Varejao's career best. Varejao also had 18 rebounds. Kyrie Irving added 34 points for the Cavs, also setting his career best. The two teams traded the lead nine times in a fast-paced and highly competitive first quarter, with Varejao exerting his will down low. Varejao, who cut his lengthy locks in the offseason, dominated for 17 points and seven rebounds in the first quarter alone. He made 7-of-8 from the floor from and caused havoc for the Nets' defense. Varejao's two free throws gave Cleveland its biggest lead of the first quarter at 28-24 with 1:29 remaining. Blatche hit one free throw with six seconds left, cutting the Cavaliers' lead to 30-29 after one period. The Nets' second unit gave them the lead for good, outscoring the Cavs, 11-0 over a 2:58 span of the period. Johnson had five points and Blatche four during the stretch that gave the Nets a 40-30 lead with 7:54 remaining before intermission. "Blatche brought us some energy there," Avery Johnson said. "He defended well and made a couple of baskets there. I think the guys are starting to understand their roles. That's been a big part of emphasis in the early going." The Nets continued the pressure in the second quarter, as Blatche scored eight points and Johnson and Williams added seven each to give Brooklyn a commanding 64-42 lead at the break. The Nets shot 58 percent from the floor in the first half, easily their best half of basketball in their brief season. They dominated rebounding, a statistic that had not treated Brooklyn well this season. The Nets held an impressive 27-15 advantage off the glass, with Reggie Evans collecting six bounds in his 11 minutes of play. Williams led the Nets with 15 at halftime, followed by Lopez with 14 and Humphries with 11. Varejao had 21 points and 11 rebounds at the break. The Nets kept the pedal down in the third quarter, doing much of the same things that got them the commanding halftime lead. Lopez had six points, all on power moves to the basket, helping the Nets secure a 77-53 lead with 5:16 remaining in the third period. But the Cavs made a run at the end of the third period, outscoring Brooklyn, 33-21, to cut the Nets' lead to 85-75 after three periods. Jerry Stackhouse hit a running jumper off glass to start the fourth quarter, increasing the Brooklyn lead to 87-75 and calm the tensions of Nets' fans, who were beginning to see another lead disappear. Johnson hit a huge 3-pointer in transition to give the Nets a comfortable 96-80 lead with 6:32 left. "Our composure was good," Avery Johnson said. "They were making a comeback and our defense withstood their rush. We had a lot of positives out of this game. Our backcourt combined to score 51 points. That's something. We hit some big shots and won the game." NOTES: Forward Gerald Wallace missed his fifth straight game with a sprained ankle he suffered in the final minute of the season opener against the Knicks Nov. 1. Wallace is still listed as day-to-day. ... Guard MarShon Brooks also sat out the game with a sprained left ankle. It was the third consecutive game that Brooks missed. ... The Nets led the NBA last year in games lost due to injury, losing a total of 249 games due to illness or injury…With injuries to Wallace, Brooks and forward Josh Childress, the Nets have already lost 10 games due to injury this year. ... Through his career, Jerry Stackhouse has worn uniform No. 42 in honor of his idol Jackie Robinson. Now, Stackhouse becomes the first professional athlete in Brooklyn to wear No. 42 since Robinson retired. ... Robinson's No. 42 is retired throughout Major League baseball.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Report: Luke Walton will not consider coaching offers until offseason

Budweiser: Peyton Manning not paid for Super Bowl beer plug

Archie Manning: 'I think Peyton's done in Denver'

Donald Trump: I told Tom Brady not to endorse me for President

Marshawn Lynch: Complicated and talented NFL anti-hero

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hue Jackson lets Manziel and ex know they aren’t alone

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

Tyronn Lue faces backlash for Cavs record since Blatt’s firing

Report: LeSean McCoy assaulted off duty Philly police officers

John Elway was right, the Broncos didn’t need a Plan B

Canadiens and Sharks starting to gauge trade market

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

Top defensive performances in Super Bowl history

FBI questions Jeremy Shockey about drug and gambling ring

Coldplay drummer thought Johnny Football was real name

Ranking every game from 2015 NFL Playoffs

PHOTO: Panthers LB shows gruesome arm injury after SB

Patriots, Panthers early Super Bowl 51 favorites

Von Miller trolls Cam Newton, Panthers

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker