Williams, Johnson lead Nets over Cavaliers 114-101

Associated Press Published: November 13, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — Brooklyn's Backcourt broke out.

Deron Williams had 26 points and 10 assists, Joe Johnson scored 25 points, and the Nets beat the road-weary Cleveland Cavaliers 114-101 on Tuesday night for their third straight victory.

Expected to be one of the league's best guard tandems, Williams and Johnson are still trying to find their way together in a new home on a rebuilt team. They know games such as this one are expected, and both said they can be delivered regularly.

"It's probably the best game that we've had together," Johnson said. "It's still early in the season, but yeah, I'm sure that's the vision everybody had, that's the vision I had and I'm sure this won't be the last (big) game. Like I say man, we're just figuring things out."

Brook Lopez added 23 points for the Nets, who opened a 20-point lead at home for the third straight game, but this time barely let up and beat the Cavaliers for the sixth time in eight meetings after losing nine in a row, mostly during the LeBron James era.

Anderson Varejao scored a career-high 35 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who were wrapping up a six-game, coast-to-coast trip and played much of the game with the urgency of a team that wanted to be home.

They haven't played there since Nov. 2, their second game of the season, and dropped the final four games of the trip to finish 1-5.

Williams and Johnson, perennial All-Stars who have been nicknamed "Brooklyn's Backcourt," put things together for the first time since the Nets acquired Johnson from Atlanta over the summer. Neither had a 20-point game before Tuesday, and Johnson had been shooting only 36.2 percent.

Williams shot 10 of 20, and Johnson was 9 of 16 while adding six assists and five rebounds.

"It definitely felt like we played better together today and like I said, we both got going today which was good, so hopefully we can continue to make improvements," Williams said. "Me and him have been talking a lot the last couple of days trying to get each other going and find out where, you know, our spots are on the court."

The Nets held Orlando below 20 points in a franchise-record seven straight quarters during a home-and-home sweep and were allowing 90.4 points per game, fourth-best in the NBA. But the offense had been spotty, particularly once they got ahead. They blew a 22-point lead last week in a loss to Minnesota and most of a 20-point advantage Sunday against the Magic.

This time, there was no letup, in part because they just ran by a Cleveland team that didn't have its legs. Brooklyn finished with a 23-8 advantage in fast-break points.