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Litmus test passed! Nets outlast Cavaliers in thrilling fashion

Spencer Dinwiddie scored a career-high 22 points as the Brooklyn Nets stunned the Cleveland Cavaliers 112-107 on Wednesday night in Brooklyn.

The Nets overcame a slow start to grab the lead for most of the game.  It was yet another intense finish for Brooklyn, but this time the team was able to hang on for the victory. The Nets have won their first three home games for the first time since the 2002-03 season, when they were playing in New Jersey. Dinwiddie made two free-throws to seal the game with three seconds remaining.  Several Cavaliers players were already walking off the court before the final buzzer sounded.

The Nets were already down Jeremy Lin, but D’Angelo Russell also sat out with a strained knee suffered during Tuesday night’s loss to the Orlando Magic.  DeMarre Carroll and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson combined to score 37 points in Russell’s absence. The Nets attempted a franchise-high 46 three-point attempts, making 17 of them.

Several other players contributed in a big way for Brooklyn. Allen Crabbe scored 19 points off the bench, while Joe Harris added 11.  Trevor Booker and Quincy Acy were flying all over the court for offensive boards.

LeBron James finished with a triple-double in the loss for Cleveland, tallying 29 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds.  The Cavs were also playing without Derrick Rose and Dwayne Wade.  They still had enough firepower to nearly steal a win on the road, coming back from a 14-point deficit to take the lead late in the fourth quarter.  Dinwiddie’s clutch shooting and Cleveland’s 21 turnovers proved to be the difference in the game.

MLB stars were out in Brooklyn as New York Yankees players CC Sabathia, Aaron Judge and Dellin Betances were all seated courtside.  Also spotted were New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard and former Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano.

According to the YES Network, the telecast generated a 1.26 average TV Household rating on YES, the network’s highest-rated Nets telecast in three seasons (YES’ December 8, 2014 Cavs-Nets telecast averaged a 1.59 rating).  Fans are noticing the improvement in the team.  They are also a lot of fun to watch, so this comes as no surprise.

Next up for the Nets (3-2) is a contest against the crosstown rival New York Knicks on Friday night at Madison Square Garden

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Jason Goldstein is a co host of the Baseline Jumper NBA podcast, recording every Tuesday night along Ben McDonald. Jason has also spent time as the Basketball Editor at while also handling the Brooklyn Nets Lead Writer duties since October 2015.
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