Cavaliers stay resilient, hold off Nuggets in second win of trip 111-103
DENVER (AP) — Kevin Love had 19 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 113-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
Collin Sexton finished with 25 points and Tristan Thompson had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland, which held off a furious Denver rally to win its second straight.
The Nuggets trailed by as many as 17 and were down 14 to start the fourth before outscoring the Cavaliers 25-10, led by Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, before Cleveland recovered.
Held in check for three quarters, Murray had 14 points in the period while Jokic scored 10 in the fourth and hit a 3-pointer that gave Denver its first lead of the game at 96-95.
Cleveland didn’t wilt, getting 3-pointers from Sexton and Cedi Osman and a floater by Darius Garland to give the Cavaliers a 103-98 led with 2:55 left.
Murray finished with 24 points and Jokic had 19.
Garland finished with 18 points and eight assists.
The Nuggets had a chance to tie but Murray missed a 3-pointer. Will Barton, who had 18 points and nine rebounds, split a pair of free throws and Garland hit a 13-footer.
Love made it 109-101 with a pair of free throws with 42 seconds left.
Cavaliers: Osman finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds. … G Dante Exum (flu) missed his third straight game but joined the team in Denver. … Garland has scored in double figures in the last eight games. … Thompson has a double-double in 19 games, which leads the team.
Nuggets: F Paul Millsap (left knee contusion) sat out his second straight game. … Barton returned to the lineup after missing one game to attend the funeral of his cousin, who was killed Dec. 26 in Baltimore. … Monte Morris finished with 11 points off the bench.
The Nuggets held a moment of silence before the opening tip for former NBA Commissioner David Stern, who died on New Year’s Day at age 77. They also played a video tribute to him during the first timeout of the game. This was Denver’s first home game since Stern’s passing.
Cavaliers: Play at the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.
Nuggets: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night.