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Nets-Cavaliers Preview

Nov 28, 2015 - 5:05 AM The Cleveland Cavaliers followed up a pep talk from LeBron James by ending their road struggles. They certainly haven't needed extra motivation during a dominant run at home.

The defending Eastern Conference champions look to remain unbeaten Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena against a Brooklyn Nets team mired in its worst start in six years.

James, who spoke to the team following Wednesday's loss at Toronto, finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds and Kevin Love stayed hot with 18 points and 16 boards to help Cleveland snap a three-game road skid with a 95-90 win against Charlotte on Friday.

"I said what I had to say, the guys responded and we got a win," James said.

It also helped that the Cavs got healthier as Timofey Mozgov, Mo Williams and Matthew Dellavedova returned from injuries. Love even sat out the fourth quarter with Dellavedova, James, Tristan Thompson, Richard Jefferson and J.R. Smith all playing well.

"Those five we had out there were rolling in the fourth quarter," the three-time All-Star said. "I was ready, but we kept those guys in and they did a great job."

Cleveland hasn't had trouble scoring at the Q, ranking among NBA leaders with 108.3 points per game, a 48.5 field-goal percentage and 38.3 mark from 3-point range. Love is averaging 21.5 points at home compared to 17.4 on the road, while Smith is scoring 19.7 per game and hitting 14 of 30 (46.7 percent) from long range in his last three there.

The Cavs (12-4), who also face Washington on Tuesday during this brief stay, have won 28 of their last 29 regular-season home games and are off to their best start in Cleveland (8-0) since opening 23-0 in 2008-09.

They appear to have a good chance to continue that run against the Nets, who haven't been able to slow anyone for most of the season. Brooklyn has been particularly porous of late, allowing an average of 111.8 points on 50.8 percent shooting in its last four.

The Nets are off to their worst start since setting a league record with an 0-18 mark to begin '09-10. They dropped 27 of their first 28 road contests that season en route to the fifth 70-loss campaign in NBA history.

Brooklyn dropped its fifth straight road game and fell to 1-9 away from home with a 110-99 loss in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, allowing the Thunder to shoot 52.6 percent from the field and 10 of 24 from 3-point range.

Brook Lopez finished with 26 points and eight rebounds, while Thaddeus Young had 18 points, eight boards and three steals. Joe Johnson scored five on 2-of-11 shooting and committed six turnovers. He's averaging 8.6 points and shooting 29.8 percent on the road.

Young has been a bright spot with 18.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game over his last six. The veteran forward did not play March 27 when Lopez and Johnson scored 20 apiece to help Brooklyn (3-12) snap a four-game slide in this series with a 106-98 home victory.

James averaged 20.0 points to help the Cavaliers take three of four in last season's series, but he shot an uncharacteristic 12 for 31 (38.7 percent) in two home meetings.

The Nets have dropped their last four visits to Quicken Loans Arena.