NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 11th (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (9-28) at Denver Nuggets (21-16), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Denver Nuggets attempt to match a season-high fourth straight win on Friday when they continue a four-game homestand against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Pepsi Center.
Denver opened its stand in winning fashion on Wednesday, as Kenneth Faried scored 19 points and pulled down 19 rebounds to help the Nuggets edge the Orlando Magic, 108-105.
Ty Lawson had 19 points and eight assists, Andre Miller donated 18 points and Danilo Gallinari chipped in 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Nuggets, who needed to rally from nine down in the final stanza.
"We were all locked in and had to do what we had to do," Faried said after the Nuggets improved to 12-2 at home. "We were able to escape with a win."
Denver will close the stay at home with visits from both Golden State and Portland.
Cleveland, meanwhile, enters on a rare winning note, as Kyrie Irving scored 18 of his game-high 33 points in the third quarter against Atlanta on Wednesday in a 99-83 victory.
Alonzo Gee knocked down five 3-pointers en route to 15 points, while Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson each posted double-doubles for the Cavs, who won for only the second time in their last seven games.
Zeller finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Thompson tallied 11 points and 14 boards.
"I don't know if we need (both to get double-doubles) every single night, but somewhere near there would be nice," head coach Byron Scott said.
The rookie Zeller started in place of Anderson Varejao, who is expected to miss at least another six to eight weeks due to a right knee injury. The NBA's leading rebounder had surgery to repair a small split in his vastus medialis muscle on Thursday.
"Andy's production, his effort, his whole morale around the team will be missed," said Irving, who has netted 30 or more points in three of his last four games. "We all have to step up."
Denver lost its only meeting with the Cavaliers last season, but has won four of five, nine of 12 and 10 of the last 14 meetings. Cleveland has also lost five of its last seven at Pepsi Center.
01/11 10:33:02 ET