for this game

Cavs seek stronger effort with Nets in town

Mar 18, 2015 - 2:09 PM ( - After an ugly loss, Cleveland Cavaliers will try to get back into the win column on Wednesday when they welcome the Brooklyn Nets to Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavs had a four-game winning streak snapped on Monday as LeBron James once again returned to South Beach, and once again left with a loss, this time a 106-92 setback to James' former mates, the Miami Heat.

James, who left the Heat after four trips to the NBA Finals and two titles, made his return to Miami on Christmas and his Cavs got beat by 10. On Monday, the Heat prevailed, 106-92.

James, who scored 30 points in a 101-91 loss during his initial return to South Beach on Christmas Day, posted 26 points on 8-of-19 shooting on Monday. James received treatment on his right knee prior to the game after tweaking it in Cleveland's 123-108 win over Orlando on Sunday.

The Cavs ended a four-game road trip with a loss that snapped a four-game winning streak.

"You take something from it. You learn from your mistakes," said James. "This was a tough stretch for us, and I think our legs kind of just gave out."

Kyrie Irving totaled 21 points and six assists in the setback.

After the road trip, the Cavs play two straight at home. After hosting the Nets, Cleveland welcomes the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

The Nets have won two straight after a five-game slide. They opened a recent road trip with a loss to the Heat, but collected back-to-back victories over the Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Their trek ends Wednesday.

In sweeping Thaddeus Young's former teams, the Nets rekindled diminishing playoff hopes. Brooklyn is 2 1/2 games behind the Pacers, Heat and Boston Celtics for both the seventh and eighth seeds in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Brooklyn's offense could not be stopped in the Nets' 122-106 win over the short-handed Timberwolves on Monday.

The Timberwolves were without three starters - Kevin Garnett, Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic - and only had eight players available.

The Nets shot 57.8 percent with Joe Johnson leading the team with 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting. Bojan Bogdanovic added 21 off the bench, Young scored 19 against one of his former teams, and Brook Lopez and Jarrett Jack each recorded 16 in Brooklyn's second straight win.

"It was very important," said Johnson of the win. "In this game, you can't worry about who's playing, you just have to go out there and handle business."

The Cavaliers have won three straight over the Nets, including both meetings this season. The two teams will meet in nine days at the Barclays Center.