The Nets entered Wednesday's action as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, but dropped to No. 6 with the loss and Washington's win over Boston. Brooklyn will face Toronto in the first round of the playoffs.
Andray Blatche ended with 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets (44-38), who enter the postseason with just one win in their last five games. Marcus Thornton added 20 points.
Tyler Zeller had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers (33-49), who snapped a two-game skid to end the season. Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving tallied 19 and 15 points, respectively.
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