|Date of game: 12/8/2014
Recap: Brooklyn vs. Cleveland
Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton were in Brooklyn to take in their first NBA game, and Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Cleveland's supporting cast stole the show at Barclays Center.
Waiters and Thompson combined for 40 points and sparked a critical run late in the third quarter that fueled the Cavaliers' 110-88 victory over the Nets on Monday.
LeBron James was his usual productive self, totaling 18 points, seven assists and three steals, and made headlines during warmups by wearing a black 'I Can't Breathe' T-shirt in reference to Eric Garner, the New York man who died earlier this year while being placed in a chokehold as he was being arrested.
"It was more of a notion to the family more than anything," James said of the gesture. "As a society we have to be better for one another, no matter what race you are."
James' teammate, Kyrie Irving, along with Brooklyn's Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams wore the same shirt, but when the ball was tipped, it was business as usual for the Cavs, who rolled to their seventh straight win behind its bench.
Waiters scored 26 points, Thompson finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds and fellow reserve James Jones chipped in 12 points.
Kevin Love posted a quiet double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds for the victors.
Garnett netted a team-high 14 points, while Williams checked in with 13 points and 11 assists for Brooklyn, which suffered its second straight lopsided loss.
The Nets announced before the game they will be without center Brook Lopez for at least one week because of a back injury. Cleveland took advantage of the 7- footer's absence with a 55-33 rebounding advantage, with 20 of their boards coming on the offensive glass.
Brooklyn surprisingly controlled the paint early on, scoring 16 points inside en route to a 25-22 lead heading into the second quarter.
James and Love combined for all of Cleveland's points in the opening frame, and the Cavs' bench got in on the act in the second.
Waiters scored 13 points, Jones added nine on three 3-pointers and the visitors went into the break holding a slim 50-49 edge.
It was a 61-61 game before Cleveland made it a blowout using a 24-6 run over the final 6 1/2 minutes of the third.
Five of James' assists came during the flurry, which featured eight points from Thompson and six from Waiters.
"LeBron got aggressive," Williams said. "It was a bad third quarter for us. It was a snowball effect."
A Thompson bucket, fittingly off an offensive rebound, gave the Cavs a healthy 85-67 cushion after three, and the difference grew to 26 points at one point in the fourth.Game Notes
Former NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo sat next to the British royals throughout
the game ... This was Cleveland's first win in five trips to Barclays Center
.... The Nets were also without star guard Joe Johnson because of the flu ...
Brooklyn lost to the Hawks by 23 points last Friday ... The Nets had won five
straight meetings ... Nets forward Mirza Teletovic needed five stitches for a
facial laceration he suffered in the third quarter.