Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez scored 20 points apiece and the reserves stepped up to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a crucial 106-98 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.
Brooklyn's reserves outscored their counterparts 54-20, led by Bojan Bogdanovic's 18 points. Jarrett Jack added 16 points and Alan Anderson scored 13 to help the Nets snap an eight-game losing skid when LeBron James has suited up for the Cavaliers.
"At this point for us, every game is important," said Johnson.
Kyrie Irving paced Cleveland with 26 points, while James finished with 24, nine assists and five steals in the setback.
"We knew we were playing against a team that very badly needed a win," said Cavs coach David Blatt. "We had to play at a level that was appropriate to that, and we didn't reach that level."
Brooklyn opened the fourth quarter on an 11-5 run, with Jack and Bogdanovic each hitting a pair of field goals during the spurt. The lead was 92-89 when Lopez potted four straight free throws, Johnson drilled a deep 3-pointer late in the shot clock and Jack converted two from the stripe.
Johnson's free throws made it 103-93 at 2:05 and gave Brooklyn the first double-digit lead for either team.
Out of a timeout, the Cavaliers committed a shot-clock violation. Brooklyn shot 11-for-12 from the stripe over the final 5:12 to put the game away.
Cleveland led by six midway through the first quarter following Kevin Love's hook shot, but the Nets climbed in front late in the period. Their bench sparked a run early in the second that made it 46-37 before Cleveland stormed back.
Two James free throws 43 seconds before halftime tied the score at 54, and Brooklyn owned a 57-56 lead at the break.
There were seven lead changes in the third before the two teams went into the fourth knotted at 79.
Former Cavalier Earl Clark made his Nets debut in the third quarter. He finished with seven points in 11 minutes ... Love scored 18 points ... The Cavs had won four straight overall and five of six on the road ... Brooklyn was without forward Thaddeus Young, who left Wednesday's game with a left knee strain.