Isaac Okoro hit a game-winning 3-pointer following a wild sequence as the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers rallied in the final two minutes for a stunning 116-114 victory over the slumping Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night in New York.
The Cavaliers (47-28) won for the ninth time in 12 games by outscoring the Nets 12-2 over the final 2:13 and secured their latest win off a broken play.
After Donovan Mitchell hit a jumper with 24 seconds left, Caris LeVert stole the ball from Brooklyn’s Dorian Finney-Smith with 13.3 seconds left. Spencer Dinwiddie fouled Mitchell with 11.6 seconds left and Cleveland’s star made the first free throw but saw the second shot go off the front of the net.
Mitchell secured the rebound after four Nets could not get possession and quickly moved the ball to LeVert. LeVert made a crosscourt pass to Okoro, who sank the corner 3 from opposite Brooklyn’s bench for a 116-114 lead with 0.7 seconds left.
After the Nets called their final timeout, the game ended when Mikal Bridges’ desperation 3 from the top of the key barely grazed the rim.
Mitchell scored 31 points to lead the Cavaliers, who trailed by nine with 3:32 remaining. Evan Mobley collected 26 and 16 rebounds as Cleveland moved five games ahead of the fifth-place New York Knicks.
Bridges scored 15 of his game-high 32 points in the third quarter but the Nets (39-34) lost their season-high fifth straight and fell a half-game behind the Miami Heat into seventh ahead of Saturday’s visit there.
Dinwiddie added 25 while Joe Harris contributed 15 as the Nets shot 48.8 percent but also committed three turnovers in the final two minutes.
After the Nets took a 61-60 halftime lead, Bridges hit a 3 that snapped a 70-70 tie with 7:56 left in the third and the Nets took a 91-85 lead into the fourth after Mitchell missed a 3 at the buzzer. Brooklyn opened a 101-92 lead with 7:57 left when Harris hit his 1,000th career 3-pointer and extended the lead to 107-98 with 4:52 to go after Harris another trey.