Cavaliers throttle Nets, stroll to 8th straight win

Thanks to a 21-0 run to start the second half, the Cleveland Cavaliers put the game out of reach and cruised to their eighth straight win, a 118-95 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday in New York.

Cleveland was unrelenting in the wire-to-wire triumph, leading by as much as 31 points in the second half. The Cavaliers won for the 16th time in their past 17 games.

Donovan Mitchell set the tone from opening tip in a return game in his home state. He scored 10 of his game-high 27 points in the first four minutes of the game and helped the Cavaliers quickly build a double-digit lead.

He also finished with five rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks.

Darius Garland chipped in 14 points and seven assists for Cleveland. Evan Mobley had 14 points and 12 boards, while Jarrett Allen added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Georges Niang contributed 13 points off the bench.

Cleveland shot 43-for-80 (53.8 percent) overall and 15-for-37 (40.5 percent) from 3-point range as a team. The Cavaliers were perfect from the free-throw line, going 17-for-17.

Brooklyn settled down in the second quarter after a slow start and managed to trim the deficit to as low as five points, but the Cavaliers maintained a 59-51 halftime lead.

The Nets only had nine active players after Royce O’Neale and Spencer Dinwiddie were traded away earlier Thursday at the trade deadline. Newly acquired Keita Bates-Diop, Jordan Goodwin and Dennis Schroeder were not yet available to play for Brooklyn.

Cameron Johnson (abductor), Lonnie Walker IV (hamstring) and Dorian Finney-Smith (ankle) remained out for the Nets due to injuries.

Mikal Bridges paced the short-handed Nets with 26 points and five 3-pointers. Cam Thomas had 17 points and four rebounds, while Trendon Watford finished with 15 points and six rebounds off the bench.

Brooklyn shot 37-for-93 (39.8 percent) and 10-for-25 (40.0 percent) from beyond the arc. The Nets hit 11 of 14 free-throw attempts.