NEW YORK • LeBron James recorded a first triple-double when starting as a point guard but it was not enough on Wednesday as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 112-107 in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
And Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue has threatened to make more changes if his team continue to defend the perimeter poorly.
The Nets became the third straight team to make 17 three-pointers against the Cavs, including Spencer Dinwiddie's go-ahead treble with 43.1 seconds left.
Dinwiddie's career-high 22 points ruined James' big night. The Cleveland superstar had 29 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds on the night he played his 772nd game as a Cavalier, passing former team-mate Zydrunas Ilgauskas for the all-time franchise record.
It was his 56th career triple-double although he also committed eight turnovers - two shy of his career high.
Dinwiddie's three-pointer gave the Nets a 106-104 lead.
"If we don't contest shots and get out to the three-point line, they're going to continue to make them," Lue said. "We come into the game, we told them they're second in the league in attempts and they're getting them up."
Record number of games LeBron James has played for the Cavs.
The Cleveland coach might take matters into his own hands.
"Keep showing them, keep preaching it," he said of defending shots from behind the arc.
"Keep showing them. And if guys continue not to do it, then we've got to make some changes."
He had already seen Orlando scorch the Cavs from deep in a 114-93 Magic win on Saturday, while his side's 119-112 defeat of the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday was in spite of the visitors' 17 three-pointers.
The Cavs are 24th in the NBA in opponents' three-point percentage (.387), reported cleveland.com.
"That's what this league is now," James said. "This league is three-point shots, and we've got to get adjusted to that and cover that line."
Besides an outstanding night from Dinwiddie, others contributed for the Nets. Allen Crabbe and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 19 apiece. DeMarre Carroll, among those defending James, scored 18 points as the Nets tied a team record for three-point attempts (46).
"Spencer organised us," Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson said. "He hit some big shots, he was aggressive.
"We keep pushing him to be more aggressive, be more aggressive, and tonight he really stepped up, hit some big shots and played excellent defence."
In Philadelphia, Eric Gordon also celebrated a big three-pointer as his effort from the left corner at the buzzer gave the Houston Rockets a 105-104 win over the 76ers.
He notched 29 points to lead Houston, who scored the last nine points.
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