Nets win 89-82 as Cavs struggle without Irving
NEW YORK (AP) - Deron Williams scored 21 points, Paul Pierce added 17 while moving past Allen Iverson into 19th place on the NBA's career scoring list, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 89-82 on Saturday night.
Andray Blatche had 12 points in his return from a four-game absence as the Nets won their second straight, just their second winning streak of the season. They limited a Cleveland team playing without star guard Kyrie Irving to 37 percent shooting and matched their best defensive performance of the season.
Reggie Evans had eight points and 11 rebounds for the Nets while starting in place of Kevin Garnett, who was given a night to rest with the Nets beginning a stretch of five games in eight days.
Dion Waiters scored 26 points for the Cavaliers, who played without Irving for the second straight game because of his bruised left knee. They beat Orlando in overtime on Thursday but didn't have nearly enough firepower in this one, losing for the seventh time in eight games.
Coming off a 95-93 victory at Oklahoma City on Joe Johnson's jumper at the buzzer, the Nets returned to Brooklyn to open their longest homestand of the season, a four-game stretch that turns tougher with visits from Atlanta, Golden State and Miami.
They welcomed back Blatche, who missed the previous four games for personal reasons and had consecutive baskets early in the fourth when the Nets took control for good by scoring seven straight points to open a nine-point cushion.
Pierce came in two points behind Iverson, who retired earlier this season, and now has 24,383 points.
Evans was 3 for 4 for eight points in the first quarter, surpassing his season high of five points and helping the Nets take a 22-17 lead. It grew to 48-34 when Williams capped a 13-3 spurt with a 3-pointer with 1:51 left in the half, and Brooklyn was ahead 51-38 at the break.
But the Nets managed one basket during a span of nearly 9 minutes of the third quarter, while the Cavaliers outscored them 20-4 to take a 61-58 edge on Matthew Dellavedova's 3-pointer with 1:51 remaining. Brooklyn regrouped to take a 67-65 advantage to the fourth.
C.J. Miles scored 19 for Cleveland but shot 6 of 19.
Notes: Nets center Brook Lopez had surgery Saturday on his broken right foot. Besides repairing the fractured fifth metatarsal, surgeons also repositioned another bone. Nets medical director Dr. Riley Williams III said in a statement that part of the procedure "lessens the stress on the fractured bone, and decreases the likelihood of re-injury in the future." Lopez was averaging a team-high 20.7 points when he broke the foot for the second time in three seasons on Dec. 20.