NCAA

Big men dominate, Nets run past Magic 107-68

Big men dominate, Nets run past Magic 107-68

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Andray Blatche had 15 points, Brook Lopez added 14 points and 10 rebounds and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Orlando Magic 107-68 Friday night.

Brooklyn never trailed while snapping a 10-game losing streak to Orlando that dated to 2009.

E'Twaun Moore led the Magic with 18 points, and Arron Afflalo finished with 12.

The Nets dominated inside, with Lopez and Blatche pushing around Orlando's young front line. They also got a lift from their bench, with Brooklyn's reserves outscoring their counterparts 55-18 for the game.

Orlando lost its third straight game after starting 2-0. It also tied a franchise-low with four made free throws, compared to 16 for Brooklyn.

The teams play each other again Sunday in Brooklyn, the second of four meetings this season.

The short-handed Nets played without swingman MarShon Brooks, who twisted an ankle during the morning shootaround. So Brooklyn coach Avery Johnson went deeper into his roster, giving veteran Jerry Stackhouse his first minutes of the season.

Stackhouse responded by scoring 11 first-half points to make up for slow starts by Joe Johnson and Deron Williams.

Lopez also went to work early and often in the post, opposite a timid group of Magic big men. He scored 11 of the Nets' first 19 points as they built as much as a 16-point lead in the opening 24 minutes.

That lead passed 30 points early in the fourth quarter. The Nets also held a 48-35 rebounding edge for the night.

Meanwhile, the Magic didn't seem nearly as comfortable in their half-court sets at the outset and were hampered by careless turnovers.

Sixth-man J.J. Redick was visibly frustrated at times, barking at his younger teammates when they failed to move the ball swiftly enough during their offensive sets.

Orlando's remaining reserves also failed to provide a lift, collectively scoring just four points in the first half.

NOTES: Magic PG Jameer Nelson sat for the fourth straight game with a strained right hamstring/groin. Coach Jacque Vaughn said the team co-captain was "making positive steps in the right direction." ... Nets F Gerald Wallace missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle.

Cavaliers clamp down on Pitt

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Cavaliers clamp down on Pitt

PITTSBURGH -- No. 1 Virginia allowed just seven points in the first half and secured the regular-season Atlantic Coast Conference title outright with a 66-37 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Freshman guard De'Andre Hunter came off the bench to lead the Cavaliers (26-2, 14-1 ACC) with 14 points in a game that didn't take big offensive efforts from Virginia's regulars. Of the five starters, only guard Ty Jerome exceeded his season average with 13 points.

The game was never competitive, as Virginia started on an 8-0 run and Pitt didn't make a field goal until Jared Wilson-Frame hit a 3-pointer at the midway point of the first half.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett rested most of his regulars in the second half. Reserve Nigel Johnson added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Parker Stewart led Pitt (8-22, 0-17) with 12 points, all on 3-pointers. Pitt had next to no presence inside. The Panthers were outscored 28-8 in the paint and out-rebounded 36-24. Seven of Pitt's 11 made field goals were from beyond the arc.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

The Caps could not shake Buffalo for two periods, but a dominant finish on Saturday helped them pull away for a 5-1 win. Here's how they finally put away the Sabres.

A quick start

Strong starts go a long way towards helping a team in the middle of a slump. It's a confidence boost for a group in desperate need of one and the Caps got that boost on Saturday from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov used his wheels to zip in behind the defense and score just 50 seconds into the game. Washington led 1-0 at the end of the first, just the second time in 19 games they have held a lead after the opening 20 minutes.

RELATED: SEE THE 3 STARS FROM CAPS-SABRES HERE

Andre Burakovsky snapping a second period slump

It looked in the second period like the Caps were caught trying to protect the lead again, but Andre Burakovsky woke the team back up with his incredible highlight end-to-end goal. It really looked like Buffalo was going to tie the game at one, but instead, Burakovsky extended the lead to two. Going end to end the way he did shows a player who is starting to play with some confidence, something Burakovsky has lacked for much of the season.

Ovechkin's two-goal third period

Buffalo would not go away. Sam Reinhart got the Sabres on the board just 14 seconds into the third period and suddenly the Caps found themselves in a one-goal game again. But Ovechkin ended any hopes for the comeback as he struck in the top corner of the net on the power play from the office. He would later add a deflection goal to extend the lead to 5-1, giving a scuffling Washington team the dominant win they so sorely needed.