Russell, Harris lead Nets past winless Cavaliers 102-86 | State National Sports

J.R. Smith and Tyronn Lue Cavs

J.R. Smith and Tyronn Lue Cavs

The Cavaliers dropped to 0-4 for the first time since losing the first five games of LeBron James' rookie season in 2003-04. His team down 20, Lue later used a fourth timeout in the quarter, but it didn't stop Brooklyn from leading by 21 heading into the fourth.

"The third quarter was a big problem for us past year", Cleveland veteran Kyle Korver said. "Obviously, we're not quite sure how to fix that".

During the third, Brooklyn shot 72.7 percent (16 of 22) and held Cleveland to 38.9 percent (7 of 18) from the floor. Because they were blown out at home, by a Nets club that lost 54 games previous year, and coach Tyronn Lue said afterward: "Tonight was way better than the other night". The way they fight and compete to stay in games will be a good metric to judge this squad.

"We have to be able to sustain it", Lue said.

Kevin Love led winless Cleveland with 14 points and 11 rebounds but shot 4 of 9 and did not take a shot during the decisive third quarter. Love had 10 points in the first half, the only Cleveland player to reach double figures in the first two quarters. Jordan Clarkson and rookie Collin Sexton also scored 14 points apiece as the Cavaliers shot 38.2 percent and missed 15 of 18 3-point attempts.

"We need to get [win] on the board", Love said. "That comes from heart".

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Into this mix comes the Nets, who are seventh in the National Basketball Association at 48.6 percent shooting and 18th in 3-point shooting at 35.1 percent, despite that 5-for-27 performance against the Detroit Pistons weighing down their numbers there.

"Anytime you lose it's tough", said Lue, whose team plays at 3-0 Detroit tonight. In that third quarter we weren't making shots so I think it kind of let our defense down and we can't do that. "We've just got to continue learning from it".

This Cavs team can't roll out of bed and beat 75 percent of the teams in the National Basketball Association like the teams with LeBron James of the past 4 years.

After shooting 23 percent and trailing by seven through the opening quarter, Cleveland rallied to tie the game at 45 by halftime.

The Cavs trailed 24-17 after a brutal first quarter that saw the teams shoot a combined 16-for-54 from the field - and it wasn't because of great defense. This is a team that will need to play hard every night and every possession to stay in games.

Cleveland, which ended the quarter with a lineup of Sexton and Clarkson in the backcourt, Korver and J.R. Smith at forward and Nance at center, was 6-for-26, but the Cavs remained optimistic following another very bad loss at home. "I mean, we're not just going to be a jump-shooting team".

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