Guard Kyrie Irving scored 23 points, forward Tristan Thompson had
20 points and 10 rebounds and the Cavaliers held off the Denver
Nuggets for a 117-109 win on Friday night.
Guard C.J. Miles and forward Luol Deng added 18 points each for
The Cavaliers finished 3-2 on their Western Conference trip. It's
the second time in three seasons they've won in Denver.
"It definitely feels good to have a winning record on this road
trip," Irving said. "We played our butts off, our bigs did a great
job of rebounding this whole trip.
"Lou was bringing us energy and Dion (Waiters) was bringing us
energy off the bench. We need that consistently. Usually we have it
at home, but to have it on the road meant a lot."
Forward Wilson Chandler scored 23 points and guard Ty Lawson had 19
points and 11 assists for the Nuggets, who had their four-game home
winning streak stopped.
They have dropped two of their last three games, losing to sub-.500
teams while beating the surging Golden State Warriors.
"These games should be in the win column. We just keep letting easy
games go," Lawson said. "Our last month is tough; we've got to get
these games right now."
When the Cavaliers are rolling, they are hardly a pushover. Five
players scored in double figures, giving Irving a strong supporting
cast that didn't exist a couple of seasons ago.
"Everyone has to be guarded," Irving said. "It's a luxury right
The Nuggets struggled defensively and tried to pull this one out
from long range. They attempted a season-high 37 3-point shots,
hitting 14, but missed 11 of their first 13 in the second half.
"In the second half, we threw up a lot because we were down and we
were trying to get back in the game," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said.
"But I don't think our offense was hurting us. It was defense."
Denver trailed by nine points in the fourth quarter before rallying
to get within 94-91 on guard Nate Robinson's 3-pointer with 7:36
left. Cleveland pushed the lead back to eight, but Denver responded
[to top of second column]
Robinson, who finished with 19 points, hit another 3-pointer.
Lawson stole the inbounds pass and fed Robinson for a layup that
made it 105-102 with 3:19 remaining.
Irving's two free throws made it 107-102, and after Denver
missed a 3-pointer — its 34th attempt of the game — Irving
scored on a driving layup with 2:04 left to make it 109-102.
Chandler hit two 3-pointers around two free throws by Cavs
forward Anderson Varejao to make it 111-108, but an offensive
rebound led to a dunk by Deng with 43.8 seconds left.
"We had each other's back because on the road it's us against
the world," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "We had a lot of
guys step up. We were aggressive with 35 free throw attempts."
The Cavaliers used a big push in the last 6:34 of the second
quarter to take an 11-point lead at the break. Trailing 40-39,
Cleveland used an 18-6 run to take a 58-46 lead. Irving scored
10 of his 13 first-half points during that stretch.
Thompson and Miles, who both had 13 points in the first half,
picked it up. Thompson hit two shots, Waiters made a 3-pointer
and Miles nailed a fall-away 3-pointer with one second left to
make it 68-57 at halftime.
The 68 points tied for the most points that Denver has allowed
in the first half this season.
"That second quarter we gave them 42 points," Nuggets guard
Randy Foye said. "That just killed us. Every other quarter we
held them down. That second quarter killed us."
The Cavaliers stretched the lead to 14 in the third quarter
before Denver made a run to get within 87-80 heading into the
NOTES: Nuggets coach Brian Shaw missed Friday's shootaround
because of a sinus infection. He did speak with the media before
the game and was on the sideline. ... The Cavaliers' five wins
against Western Conference teams rank fifth among Eastern
Conference teams. ... Nuggets F Darrell Arthur missed his third
straight game with a left groin strain. ... Cleveland coach Mike
Brown was an unpaid intern with the Nuggets in 1992 before
becoming the video coordinator and then a scout for the Nuggets.
... Denver honored veterans as part of Military Night at the
Pepsi Center. ... Cavaliers C Anderson Varejao and F Tristan
Thompson are averaging a combined 19.9 rebounds per game.
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