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Cavaliers 99, Nets 97: Russell Scores 30, Kurucs Sparks Comeback

The Brooklyn Nets dropped their seventh straight game Monday night, falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center, 99-97 as Cleveland’s Alec Burks dunked home the game-winner on a drive with 3.2 seconds remaining.

Burks’ game-winner denied the Nets after they came back from double-figures in the fourth quarter to tie the game with 18.9 seconds to go.

Trailing by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, the Nets closed within two in the opening minute of the fourth on DeMarre Carroll’s drive to the rim that made it an 80-78 game.

An 11-2 Cleveland run pushed the Cavs lead back to 11 points at 91-80 with 6:03 to go. But the Nets had another push left.

A Spencer Dinwiddie 3-pointer was followed by two Rodions Kurucs baskets — an offensive rebound and an inside finish from D’Angelo Russell. After Jordan Clarkson scored for Cleveland, Dinwiddie made 1-of-2 from the line and hit another 3-pointer to bring the Nets within 95-93 with 90 seconds to go.

With the Nets down 97-93, a Kurucs steal led to Russell’s rebound basket in transition. Kurucs then put back a Russell miss to tie the game at 97 with 18.9 seconds to go.

Russell led the Nets with 30 points, adding eight rebounds and six assists. Dinwiddie had 18 points and Kurucs had 12. Ed Davis grabbed 10 rebounds.

Russell’s 12 points in the first seven minutes had the Nets up 20-14, but the Cavs closed the quarter on a 10-2 run for a 30-29 lead going into the second. After making four of their first eight 3-point attempts, the Nets shot just 1-for-11 from deep over the final 16 minutes of the half.

Cleveland had its biggest lead of the half at 56-47 before Dinwiddie’s 3-pointer with 46 seconds left in the second quarter made it a 56-50 game at halftime.

The Cavaliers stretched their lead to 13 points, but Russell’s 14 third-quarter points kept the Nets in it. With Cleveland up 76-63 and under four minutes to go in the quarter, Russell scored seven straight points with two foul-line jumpers followed by a 3-pointer on the left side as he curled around a Davis screen.

It was still an eight-point game before Kurucs closed the quarter with two straight baskets — the second coming off an end-to-end charge after a defensive rebound — to bring the Nets within 80-76 going into the fourth.


The Nets host the Thunder on Wednesday and the Raptors on Friday before visiting the Knicks on Saturday.

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