CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) – Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd sat his starters for the playoffs and the Nets closed the regular season with a 114-85 loss to the Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
The Cavaliers finished a disappointing 33-49 in coach Mike Brown’s first season back and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
Although the Nets could have clinched the Eastern Conference’s No. 5 spot with a win, Kidd elected to rest Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston, who spent the night on the bench as the world’s highest-paid cheerleading squad. Kidd also limited the minutes of key reserves and used only seven players.
Tyler Zeller scored 22 points with 11 rebounds and Dion Waiters scored 19 for Cleveland. All-Star Kyrie Irving scored 15.