Darius Garland scored 26 points, one of six Cleveland players in double figures, and the Cavaliers beat the visiting Denver Nuggets, 121-109, in the NBA on Sunday night, November 19.
Craig Porter scored 21 points, Evan Mobley had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Jarrett Allen chipped in with 15 points, Georges Niang scored 12, and Max Strus added 11. Dean Wade had 10 rebounds for Cleveland.
Michael Porter, Jr. scored 21 points. Nikola Jokic had 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, Christian Braun contributed 13 points, and Aaron Gordon had 11 for Denver, which has lost two straight for the first time since the second round of last season’s playoffs.
The Cavaliers led by two after the first quarter and increased it to 13 with about eight minutes left in the second before Denver rallied, going on a 13-1 run to make it 47-46 midway through.
The Nuggets tied it at 53-all on a three-point play by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but Cleveland took a 66-58 lead at halftime.
The Cavaliers quickly started to pull away in the third quarter behind Allen. He hit a floater, made a reverse layup, dunked twice and capped a personal 10-3 run with a 12-foot jumper to give Cleveland a 76-61 lead.
Jokic was called for consecutive offensive fouls, the second one a Flagrant 1.
Allen hit both technical free throws, and Mobley’s dunk made it 82-61 with 7:07 left in the third.
Denver made a push after that. Porter hit a pair of three-pointers.
Braun scored four points and Strawther made two free throws to cut the deficit to 87-75 with a minute left, but Niang hit from long range and Garland made a layup to make it 92-75 heading into the fourth.
The Cavaliers increased the lead to 18 points early in the final period. Jokic split a pair of free throws to cut into the lead, but Garland hit a driving 13-footer and Craig Porter made a layup to make it 99-81.
Another floater by Garland and a layup by Strus made it 107-85, and the Nuggets pulled their starters with 6:16 left. (Reuters)
Denver Nuggets guard Christian Braun (left) drives against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Sam Merrill in the second quarter in the NBA. (David Richard / Reuters photo)