NBA Play-In live updates: Kyrie Irving leads Nets to 57-43 halftime lead over Cavs; plus schedule, matchups, results

April 12, 2022 at 8:30 PM EDT

Irving picks up where he left off

Kyrie Irving hits a 3 to put the Nets up 20. He’s 10-for-10 from the field.

Alex Schiffer·

Staff Writer, Nets

April 12, 2022 at 8:26 PM EDT

Second half keys for the Cavs

The Cavs’ offensive struggles in the first half are a concern. They shot 17-of-48 (35.4 percent) from the field and made just three 3s in the first half. A number of shots have been wide open, too. They need more on the offensive end from guys like Caris LeVert and Lauri Markkanen.

Cleveland did outscore the Nets 23-17 in the second quarter, which was helpful in shrinking the deficit to 14 points. But the Cavs have to be better defensively in the second half.

Kelsey Russo

Kelsey Russo·

Staff Writer, Cavaliers

April 12, 2022 at 8:21 PM EDT

Brooklyn couldn’t miss in the first half

Kyrie and Durant in the first half: a combined 13-of-14 shooting from the floor and 4-of-4 from the line.

KD has 12 and seven assists. Kyrie has 20 points and four assists. The Nets are up 14 at the half because their stars almost literally can’t miss.

Mike Vorkunov

Mike Vorkunov·

Staff Writer, Knicks

April 12, 2022 at 8:18 PM EDT

Take some deep breaths, Cleveland

Before taking on the Bucks on Sunday, Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff told reporters that it didn’t much matter how many times he told his players what the playoffs would be like; they would only be able to know that feeling when they experienced it.

He likened it to when expecting parents are told what to expect, but you can never know until you have your own kids. That quote echoed in my head as I watched the Cavaliers in the first half.

They looked a little bit sped up, a little bit discombobulated as they went toe-to-toe with two guys that have been there and done that before in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Some deep breaths at halftime will do them some good.

Eric Nehm

Eric Nehm·

Staff Writer, Bucks

April 12, 2022 at 8:15 PM EDT

All Nets in the first half

Nets lead the Cavs 57-43. Masterful defense from Brooklyn. Kyrie Irving just beat the buzzer a quarter after Nic Claxton did.

Cleveland shooting just 35 percent from the field and 21 from 3. Irving is 9-for-9, Durant is in triple-double range with 12, five rebounds and seven assists.

Alex Schiffer

Alex Schiffer·

Staff Writer, Nets

April 12, 2022 at 8:11 PM EDT

Halftime adjustments for the Cavs

Adjustments Cavs need to make at halftime:

  1. They need to get Garland into space with the ball so he can put the defense on its heels.
  2. They need better spacing going to the basket so guys like Evan Mobley can be dump-off options for easy baskets. Right now, Nets are challenging everything at the rim and the Cavs can’t seem to win those challenges.
  3. See if NYC will reinstate the mandate so they can slow down Kyrie.
Zach Harper

Zach Harper·

Staff Writer, NBA

April 12, 2022 at 8:02 PM EDT

How Cleveland must improve

Hard to tell if the Nets defense has been good in the second quarter or if the Cavs are just missing shots. Eventually, you know the Nets are going to get cooking again on offense.

Kevin Love had a great stint for the Cavs when he came in, but they need Darius Garland and Caris LeVert to get going with scoring and playmaking. Cavs offense isn’t moving the Nets defense side-to-side nearly as much as they need to.

Garland has been fine but needs to create more. LeVert is forcing too much and needs to find a better flow. Maybe that happens with a Garland-LeVert two-man game to flip things a bit on Brooklyn.

Zach Harper

Zach Harper·

Staff Writer, NBA

April 12, 2022 at 7:54 PM EDT

Light work for Durant

Kevin Durant is shooting over Caris LeVert like the Cavs’ wing is a folding chair in a pre-draft workout.

Zach Harper

Zach Harper·

Staff Writer, NBA

April 12, 2022 at 7:52 PM EDT

Cleveland trying to make adjustments

You’re always going to have to pay extra attention with bodies swarming Durant and Kyrie when matching up with the Nets. Cavs are trying to adjust to that, and the last few minutes they’ve dared second-round rookie Kessler Edwards to beat them.

He’s having a rough go of it with 0-of-4 from the field and three of those misses coming from deep. He looks a little hesitant to let it go right now, and his spacing di lui when others have the ball is allowing Cleveland to crowd Kyrie.

Cavs may just have to sell out completely on defense and leave guys like Edwards and Bruce Brown entirely open to hope they can get some stops to cut this to single digits and have that maintain.

Zach Harper

Zach Harper·

Staff Writer, NBA

April 12, 2022 at 7:40 PM EDT

Nets lead Cavs 40-20 at the end of the first

Well, that escalated quickly.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant led the way for Brooklyn, as they shot 70 percent from the field as a team in the first quarter. Irving (four) and Durant (six) each have more assists than the Cavs (three) have as a team.

Durant (3-for-3) and Irving (5-for-5) have also yet to miss a shot, combining for 19 points.

Hunter Patterson

Hunter Patterson

April 12, 2022 at 7:36 PM EDT

Durant, the defender

Last year in KD’s first season back from the Achilles’ tear, you only got the offensive end of the floor of Durant. And it was spectacular, by the way. It was a fun reminder of who he can be.

Now that he’s healthier and has his legs back, we’re seeing KD the defender. He turned into an excellent defensive player in Golden State, and he’s putting his stamp on that end of the floor with this undermanned Cavs team.

He’s blocking shots. He’s forcing turnovers. He’s terrorizing Cleveland in the first quarter.

Zach Harper

Zach Harper·

Staff Writer, NBA

April 12, 2022 at 7:27 PM EDT

Durant, the facilitator

We’ve seen Kevin Durant act as more of a facilitator since he came back from his knee injury. He’s averaged 7.6 assists per game in the 19 games back to finish the season. Prior to the injury, KD averaged 5.8 assists.

It’s not a massive change, but we’re seeing him set guys up more than establish himself as a scorer because we all know he can do that. This makes Brooklyn even more dangerous on offense than previously thought because there’s nothing you can do but hope and pray when Durant is patient and deciding how to dissect you.

Zach Harper

Zach Harper·

Staff Writer, NBA

April 12, 2022 at 7:21 PM EDT

Durant, the difference maker

Have a feeling tonight might come down to one thing: The Nets have Kevin Durant and the Cavaliers don’t.

Mike Vorkunov

Mike Vorkunov·

Staff Writer, Knicks

April 12, 2022 at 7:13 PM EDT

The vibe in Brooklyn tonight right now

Still arriving. Large swaths of Big Financial Services Center are still empty as fans make their way to their seats. Maybe the 7pm tip threw them off.

Mike Vorkunov

Mike Vorkunov·

Staff Writer, Knicks

April 12, 2022 at 7:07 PM EDT

Keep an eye on Kyrie

Interesting thing to watch for: Kyrie Irving practices Ramadan and the earlier tip time means the sun isn’t down yet and he’s going into tonight’s game without being able to eat yet.

Alex Schiffer

Alex Schiffer·

Staff Writer, Nets

April 12, 2022 at 7:06 PM EDT

Hello from Barclays

Thoughts to those impacted by the subway shooting today. Took the train to the game and dad’s side of the family hails from Sunset Park.

We had a store there for 30 years. Nets-Cavs tip shortly in the Play-In. Winner gets Boston on Sunday. Loser plays Friday.

Alex Schiffer

Alex Schiffer·

Staff Writer, Nets

April 12, 2022 at 7:02 PM EDT

Nets coach Steve Nash addresses tragic Brooklyn subway shooting

By The Athletic NBA staff

By The Athletic NBA staff

April 12, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT

Nets-Cavs starters

We’re about 30 minutes away from tipoff in Brooklyn. Check out the starters for both teams below.

By The Athletic NBA staff

By The Athletic NBA staff

April 12, 2022 at 5:42 PM EDT

The latest on Ben Simmons, Goran Dragic, Seth Curry

Steve Nash said Goran Dragić’s minutes tonight are wait and see. Adds Ben Simmons has no timetable for his return of him and hasn’t done any hard running yet.

Seth Curry is available to play. He said yesterday he wasn’t missing the Play-In game.

Alex Schiffer

Alex Schiffer·

Staff Writer, Nets

April 12, 2022 at 5:29 PM EDT

Clippers-Timberwolves insights

For better or worse, Minnesota is a super physical squad. That usually results in turnovers and fouls.

Take a look at how the Clippers and Timberwolves stack up ahead of tonight’s Play-In game.

Law Murray

Law Murray·

Staff Writer, Clippers

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