|Date of game: 12/19/2014
Recap: Cleveland vs. Brooklyn
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Miller scored a season-high 21 points in a rare start and the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back from their worst loss of the season with a 95-91 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Miller hit 7-of-8 from behind the arc in his first start of the season and LeBron James scored 22 points with nine assists for Cleveland, which was coming off a 29-point home loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.
"He's a professional guy, you can always count on him," James said of Miller. "His ability to shoot the ball gives us so much more of a dynamic out there."
Miller, who hadn't played since Dec. 4, had just 19 points in 13 games all season before Friday.
Kyrie Irving chipped in 16 while Kevin Love had his worst shooting performance in a Cavs uniform, going 1-for-10 for six points. Love, however, finished with a game-high 14 rebounds.
Joe Johnson led five Nets players in double figures with 26 points.
Cleveland's 54-49 halftime lead disappeared when the Nets opened the third with a 6-0 run. Neither team led by more than four until Shawn Marion's runner early in the fourth gave the Cavs a 78-73 lead.
Brooklyn got within three points twice after that. Johnson's 3-pointer with 41.8 seconds left made it 94-91 and Irving got stripped on his way to the basket at the other end, leaving the door open.
The Nets pushed the ball up the floor rather than calling for a timeout, a move that ultimately backfired. Jarrett Jack passed to the top of the key to an open Johnson, who didn't catch the ball cleanly and had to swing to Kevin Garnett. The deflected pass found Garnett on the left wing, but his triple missed short.
"I thought they'd take the 3 away and maybe we'd drive and go get a quick two then I'd call timeout," said Nets coach Lionel Hollins. "We were trying to get a play for Joe, and they kind of took that away. Joe found KG, and he had to take the shot."
James split a pair of free throws to put the game away.
Brooklyn led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter but Cleveland responded and tied the game at 35-35 early in the second.
After Sergey Karasev's 3-pointer gave the Nets a 45-39 lead with 5:13 to play, in the second quarter, the Cavaliers ran off 15 straight points to climb in front for the first time. Irving scored six points during the spurt, which Anderson Varejao capped with two free throws before the Nets scored the last five points before halftime.Game Notes
James passed Charles Barkley for 23rd place on the all-time scoring list ...
Nets guard Deron Williams left the game in the second quarter with a strained
right calf. He finished with one point and five assists ... Mason Plumlee and
Jack scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, for Brooklyn ... Both teams shot
9-for-24 from 3-point range.