Cavs run out of gas in third OT, fall to Nets 148-139

Clarkson scores 42, Sexton 24 as Cleveland hits All-Star break 12-46

Daryl Ruiter
February 13, 2019 - 10:16 pm

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets weren’t exactly in a hurry to get to the All-Star break Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.

The game that would not end turned into a Jordan Clarkson-D’Angelo Russell slugfest down the stretch before the Cavs started running out of players to match up with the Nets, who finally came out on top after three overtimes, 148-139.

After slugging it out in the fourth quarter to the tune of seven lead changes and eight ties, the two teams went to overtime tied at 109, double-overtime even at 118 and triple-OT tied at 126.  

“I can’t be upset at my guys. I thought they put up a great effort from start to finish,” Cavs head coach Larry Drew said. “We made a few blunders down the stretch that I hope the young guys will learn from.”

The overtimes saw six lead changes and six ties while Russell and Clarkson went at it scoring at will for their respective teams.

Russell scored the Nets’ first 11 points and 14 of his 36 in the third overtime to help Brooklyn pull away. Russell added seven rebounds and eight assists in the victory, the 30th of the season for the Nets.

Clarkson, who scored 11 in the third overtime, came off the bench to finish with a team-high and career-high 42 points on 16 of 34 shooting, including seven of 17 from three, for the Cavs in the loss.

It was the most points scored in a game by a Cavalier this season.

“We didn’t expect to go to three overtimes,” Clarkson said. “That’s the most minutes I’ve played in my career. But I’m in shape. I’ll go all day.”

Clarkson was clutch in the overtimes, including hitting a pair of free throws with 3.8 remaining to extend Cleveland’s lead to three before DeMarre Carroll hit a three at the buzzer to force a third overtime.

“I was very happy with how we played it,” Drew said. “We were aggressive. Carroll was falling away when he hit the shot.”

Collin Sexton shot 10-22 from the floor to score 24 while adding six rebounds and five assists in loss No. 46 that saw him play 45 minutes.

“We battled to the end, we didn’t give up,” Sexton said. “D-Lo, he started making shots and it was tough to try and take him out of his rhythm and when he’s like that, it’s pretty hard.”

Cavs forward Marquese Chriss hit back-to-back threes – in opposite corners – with just over two minutes remaining in the second overtime to turn a three-point deficit into a tree-point lead at 124-121 before fouling out on the next defensive possession. Chriss finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and two steals off the bench.

David Nwaba’s reach-in with 16 seconds remaining in the first overtime sent Russell to the free throw line for a pair of makes and a 118-116 Brooklyn lead before Sexton hit a driving layup with 2.8 remaining to tie the game at 118 forcing OT No. 2.

Monster smash – Chriss had the highlight of the night when he smashed home a dunk over Brooklyn’s Jarret Allen that gave the Cavs a two-point lead with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.  

“He was under the rim,” Chriss said. “I just made a good play. He’s a great shot blocker, but obviously the timing just wasn’t there right then. I tried to make the most out of it and just finish the dunk.”

The violent smash sent The Q and the Cavs bench into a tizzy.

“It was crazy,” Sexton said. “Top-10 for sure. Going to go down for top dunks. Allen, he jumped too late.”

Foul trouble – Three Cavs fouled out of the marathon – Ante Zizic, Larry Nance Jr. and Chriss – leaving Drew searching frantically for lineup combinations in the third overtime.

“I had no intention of playing four [guards] out there against that team,” Drew said. “But we literally just ran out of bodies. I applaud our guys with the effort they gave being shorthanded, having to play a smaller lineup.”

Nance fouled out with 2:06 left in the first overtime and finished with eight points and 14 rebounds while Chriss departed in the second overtime.

“Having Marquese out of the game toward the end hurt us a little bit,” Clarkson said. “He was doing a good job of playing hard on the screens, switching and keeping the guard in front of him, making them shoot tough shots over him.”

Zizic finished the night with six points and six rebounds in 30 minutes of floor time before fouling out with 10.2 remaining in the third OT.

Triple threat – The Cavs hit 18 three’s Wednesday night marking the fourth consecutive game that they’ve hit at least a dozen times from beyond the arc.  

Love grows – Kevin Love has another week to get himself into shape for regular game action after sitting out Wednesday night.

“That’s I’d say probably No. 1 right now and everything else feels great,” Love said.

Love returned after missing 50 games on Feb. 8, took the game at Indiana off the following night and scored 14 points to go with 9 rebounds in the 107-104 win over the Knicks so the Cavs decided to keep the pattern of play one, take the next one off in place as to not push Love too much.

“We did every other game, and my minutes more than doubled the last game,” Love said. “Going into the break [I’ll] continue the conditioning and then be back even more for the next one.”

Love hopes the additional time will allow him to get in better shape so once the All-Star break passes, he can begin to ramp up his minutes.

“Probably until I get to that 30-minute threshold,” Love said.

Orange and blues – The Cavs ended the unofficial first half of the season in their city edition orange and blue uniforms with matching floor.