Lopez leads late charge as Nets run past Cavs


LeBron James was so good for three quarters that the only one who could stop him was his own teammate.

The fourth quarter belonged to Brooklyn.

Brook Lopez scored 22 points and the Nets blew by James and the Cleveland Cavaliers down the stretch for a 104-95 victory Thursday night.

James was scoreless and missed both shots in the fourth quarter after he scored 30 points on 13-for-14 shooting through three. Lopez had the final five points in a late 14-0 run as the Nets surged past the Eastern Conference leaders.

“We had a lot more fight than we’ve shown in the last couple of games,” interim coach Tony Brown said. “More than anything, obviously, Brook led us down the stretch.”

Shane Larkin added 16 points and seven assists for Brooklyn in his return to the starting lineup. Bojan Bogdanovic had 12 points.

The Cavaliers finished 10 of 38 on 3-pointers, needing a make by Jordan McRae after the Nets had taken control to extend their franchise-record streak to 10 games with 10 or more makes. But they misfired way too often, with Kyrie Irving finishing 6-for-22 from the field and Kevin Love going 5-for-14.

It looked as if James would rescue his teammates when he scored 15 points in a dominant third quarter. He started 10-for-10 before finally missing when he attempted to follow up Irving’s missed layup but appeared to be affected by center Timofey Mozgov jumping as well, and he gave the Russian a long look after the Nets got the rebound of his miss.

But James quickly added three more baskets before the end of the period as the Cavs surged into an 83-80 lead.

“We never gave in,” Lopez said. “We knew they were going to come out hard in the third quarter and make runs. They were going to try to hit us early and we just stuck with it.”

Thunder 113, Jazz 91

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 20 points, nine assists and eight rebounds to help the Thunder beat Utah for their sixth straight victory.

Russell Westbrook’s streak of triple-doubles ended at three. He had 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter.

Knicks 106, Bulls 94

In New York, Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points, Kristaps Porzingis had 19 and the Knicks beat Chicago to sweep the home-and-home series.

Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 30 points.

Pacers 92, Pelicans 84

In Indianapolis, Myles Turner scored 24 points and had a career-high 16 rebounds on his 20th birthday, and C.J. Miles added 19 points in Indiana’s victory over New Orleans.

Alexis Ajinca led the Pelicans with 22 points.

Clippers 96, Trail Blazers 94

In Los Angeles, J.J. Redick hit a 7-meter jumper as time expired to lift the Clippers past Portland.

Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford each had 25 points for L.A.

Damian Lillard scored 18 points to lead the Blazers.