Love scores 27 points, as Cavaliers surprise Nuggets again
CLEVELAND (AP) — Kevin Love scored 27 points, hitting the go-ahead basket with four minutes remaining, and the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers surprised the Denver Nuggets for the second time this season, 104-102 on Saturday night.
The Cavaliers have the worst record in the Eastern Conference, but beat the Nuggets, who have the third-best record in the West in both meetings this season. Cleveland won 111-103 win in Denver on Jan. 11.
Love and Dellavedova hit key 3-pointers when Cleveland built its late lead. Dellavedova, starting for the second straight game with Garland out, sparked a third-quarter surge with lob passes that resulted in dunks on consecutive possessions by Thompson and Alfonso McKinnie. .
Sexton continued his hot hand after scoring a career-high 41 points against Boston on Wednesday night. The second-year guard was 11 of 19 from the field.
Denver coach Michael Malone was hit with a technical foul in the third quarter during a stretch that saw Cleveland go ahead.
Murray hit a 3-pointer from 36 feet to end the first quarter in which Denver made 13 of 22 shots.
Drummond was out again with a strained left calf and has missed five of the last six games. Drummond participated in practice Friday and coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he’s close to returning.
Thompson and McKinnie returned for Cleveland. Thompson started at center after missing three games with a bruised left knee. McKinnie was out five games because of left foot plantar fasciitis.
Nuggets: Rookie F Michael Porter Jr. entered in the second quarter after being benched against Charlotte, scoring seven points in 16 minutes. … G Troy Daniels was in uniform for the first time since signing with Denver two days earlier, but didn’t play. The seventh-year pro averaged 4.2 points in 41 games before being released by the Lakers.
Cavaliers: Cedi Osman scored 20, hitting 5 of 6 3-point attempts. … Porter is in concussion protocol after being injured Wednesday. Garland (strained left groin) missed his third straight game and will be out Sunday against San Antonio.
Nuggets: Host Milwaukee on Monday night.
Cavaliers: Host San Antonio on Sunday night.
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