Albert King scored 24 points and Buck Williams had 13 points and 19 rebounds to lead host New Jersey over Cleveland.
New Jersey's Mike O'Koren, who has been starting at shooting guard, left late in the first half after falling on his right wrist. X-rays showed a fracture and he will be out eight to 10 weeks.
Rookie Eric Floyd, the reserve guard from Georgetown, scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth period for New Jersey. The Nets scored the game's last eight points and, with a 16-13 record, preserved their half-game lead over Washington for third place in the Atlantic Division.
Cleveland (4-23) has lost 12 straight on the road.
New Jersey rallied from a 61-53 deficit to take a 64-63 lead into the fourth quarter.
Cleveland Coach Tom Nissalke said fatigue hurt his players. The Cavaliers had only nine players suited up; John Bagley did not dress because of an ankle injury and Bobby Wilkerson was out with the flu.
"We played good basketball, but we just ran out of gas," Nissalke said. "You can't win when guys are playing 40 or more minutes."
Guard Geoff Huston played the entire game while forward Cliff Robinson and guard World B. Free each played 40 minutes. Free and Robinson each had 20 points. Free and Sam Lacey fouled out.
"I was very fatigued," said Free. "In the fourth quarter my legs were real tired. It's been a long time since I played 40 minutes."
"Cleveland did look a little fatigued, but I'd like to think it was because of our pressure defense," Williams said.