Despite a game-high 30 points from LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered a 104-95 road loss Thursday night to the Brooklyn Nets.
Center Brook Lopez led the way for BK with 22 points and seven rebounds.
Despite 51 wins and a division title, frustration continues to build for the Cavs.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal:
It’s easy to call this loss inexcusable, but it’s no more inexcusable than the 21-point loss at Miami, the home loss to the Grizzlies’ D-League team, the blowout loss at Washington, the late collapse at Toronto and on and on and on. This time they managed to lose to the second-worst team in the East, a team with a miserable present and no hope for the future. […] “A lot of times when you look at a team’s record or you come in and not respect your opponent like we should, things like this happen,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “We want to try and pick it up and compete when it’s too late.”
Such as the third quarter, when James was a one-man freight train. He began the night 10 of 10 and ended 13 of 16. He was relentlessly attacking the rim and the Nets were helpless to stop him. James scored half of his 30 points in the third quarter to turn a 10-point halftime deficit into an 83-80 lead to start the fourth. But James, Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith played the whole third quarter and Timofey Mozgov played all but one minute. The starters needed a break to start the fourth, then even when they returned, Lue thought they were out of gas.
“Tonight we took a step backwards,” James said. “And we can’t afford to do that late in the season like this.”