By Rob Todor
By MARY SCHMITT BOYER
The Plain Dealer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.
Nets interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe knew it was going to be a long night.
OK, he probably knew that driving in to the arena, but when the Cavs jumped out to a 20-point lead at the end of the first quarter, whatever slim chance the Nets had was gone.
“Right now this is the best team in the league, and you can not spot them 20 point in the first quarter and expect to win,” Vandeweghe said after the Cavs’ 111-92 victory Wednesday night at IZOD Center.
Even Nets co-owner and LeBron James pal Jay-Z sat this one out. Wise man.
The show the Cavs put on in the first quarter rivaled the one Jay-Z put on at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.
“Five stars, two thumbs up,” James rated it.
The game wasn’t bad either — at least the first 12 minutes. After that, the biggest chore was trying to stay awake. It was a change for the better for Cleveland, which has been known to let weak opponents hang around far too long.
“That’s something in the past that we struggled with,” coach Mike Brown admitted after his team’s fifth-straight win and league-best 48-14. “When we’ve gotten big leads, we haven’t really closed teams out.”
That was not the case Wednesday.
The smaller, quicker Cavs were dominating in the first quarter and ran up a 35-15 lead. James had 10 points and eight assists, and it seemed every basket was a dunk.
J.J. Hickson did a nice enough job against Nets center Brook Lopez, although the two basically neutralized each other statistically. Hickson had 20 points and 13 rebounds. Lopez finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds.