The Nets outplayed the Cavaliers thoroughly in a 96-85 Game 3 victory Saturday at Continental Airlines Arena.
Kidd had 23 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists for his 11th career postseason triple-double. Carter and Jefferson also had 23 points apiece as all of the so-called “Big Three” were reasonably on their games, which is the Nets’ formula for victory.
“They made plays,” Cavaliers point guard Larry Hughes said. “They definitely rebounded the ball and got a lot of help from J. (Jason) Kidd getting in there and rebounding. For the most part, I just think we didn’t step up to the plate.”
“It was all about execution,” said James, who scored a career playoff-low 18 points on 5-of-16 shooting. “I took a couple of bad shots, couple of turnovers.”
His biggest contribution to the offense was 12 assists, but there were too many times where he just seemed to be standing around.
“When it was 77-73, they were in man quite a bit and we just didn’t attack,” Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. “We held the ball and had a couple of turnovers and then on top of that we took a couple of shots that we probably should not have taken. That was not a good stretch for us.”