NBA

LeBron James Says Cavaliers Took 'Step Backwards' After Loss to Nets

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers argues a call during their game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center on March 24, 2016 in New York City.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2016

Losing to one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference isn't something the Cleveland Cavaliers should be doing at this point of the season, but that's exactly what happened Thursday night when they fell 104-95 to the Brooklyn Nets at New York's Barclays Center.  

"Tonight we took a step backwards and we can’t afford to do that late in the season like this," said Cavs forward LeBron James after the game, per Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com.

Cleveland turned the ball over 14 times and made only 10 of its 38 attempts from three-point range. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving scored 24 combined points on 11-of-36 shooting. James, meanwhile, scored 30 points and missed just three of his 16 shots.

As a result, it's easy to see why LeBron would be so frustrated. He certainly cut a forlorn figure on the court, which The Ringer's Jason Concepcion captured perfectly:

Thursday's defeat is also the third for the Cavaliers in their past seven games.

"I don't have the right word at this point in time, but we have to understand how important our process is," said James, per the Washington Post's Tim Bontemps.

Cleveland can sleepwalk through the final few weeks of the regular season and still occupy one of the two top spots in the East, which can be a good or bad thing. Security in the standings can breed complacency, and that seems to have happened at times with the Cavs this year.

As James mentioned, the team needs to show some improvement before the playoffs; otherwise, the Cavaliers will have to wait another year to win a title.

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