Alec Burks threw down a tiebreaking slam dunk with 3.2 seconds remaining Monday night as the Cleveland Cavaliers escaped with a 99-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, whose home losing streak reached seven games.
Burks finished with 13 points in his third game for Cleveland after being acquired from Utah on Thursday and ended the Cavaliers’ losing streak at four with his drive on the final possession.
Burks won the game when he used a screen set by Rodney Hood, drove through the lane and emphatically thundered in a two-handed dunk.
The Nets had one more chance to tie or win but Spencer Dinwiddie’s 3-point try was well short of the rim with 1.5 seconds remaining.
Jordan Clarkson posted his second career double-double in points and rebounds as he led the Cavaliers with 20 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Tristan Thompson added 19 and 14 boards for his 13th double-double as the Cavaliers improved to 5-13 under interim coach Larry Drew.
Rookie Collin Sexton added 15 for the Cavaliers, who shot 43.2 percent and won despite scoring less than 100 points for the fifth straight contest.
D’Angelo Russell led all scorers with 30 points but he shot 13 of 31 and the Nets saw their overall losing streak reach seven games. Dinwiddie added 18 but Brooklyn shot 39.4 percent and fell to 2-10 since losing leading scorer Caris LeVert to a dislocated right foot three weeks ago in Minnesota.
Rookie Rodions Kurucs scored eight of his career-high 12 points in the fourth quarter, and his putback of a Russell missed 3-pointer with 18.9 seconds left forged a tie at 97.
The Cavaliers appeared to secure the win by taking a 91-80 lead on a jumper by Hood with 6:03 remaining but the Nets countered with a 17-7 run to set up the narrow finish.
Before the dramatic ending, Cleveland took a 56-50 lead at halftime and extended it to 76-63 on a turnaround jumper by Cedi Osman with 3:51 left.
The Nets came back with a 13-4 run and Cleveland’s lead was down to 80-76 into the fourth.
—Field Level Media