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Irving leads Cavs past Nuggets
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyrie Irving scored 23 points with six assists and the Cleveland Cavaliers closed out a five-game road trip with a 117-109 win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.
Tristan Thompson contributed a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, while CJ Miles and Luol Deng scored 19 and 18 points, respectively, in the win.
"Our guys did a nice job of just staying the course," Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown said. "I'm glad of our guys for doing that."
Wilson Chandler scored 23 points and Ty Lawson deposited a double-double with 19 points and 11 assists for Denver, which had a four-game home winning streak snapped.
Nate Robinson added 19 points off the bench and Randy Foye made four 3- pointers en route to a 16-point outing. Timofey Mozgov had 10 points and 11 boards in the setback.
Denver trailed 105-97 late in the fourth quarter when Foye drove the lane and kicked it to Robinson, who buried a corner three with 3 1/2 minutes left, then Lawson stole the ensuing inbound pass.
Robinson cut through the lane following the steal, received the pass from Lawson, and made a layup in traffic to make it a three-point game with 3:19 to go.
Irving added a pair of free throws and a layup to push the margin to 109-102 before Chandler knocked down a three.
Anderson Varejao added two free throws and Chandler hit another triple to cut the deficit back to three. Varejao missed an off-balance jumper on the Cavs' next possession with the shot clock running down, but Irving scooped up the offensive rebound and found a wide-open Deng for the stuff to push the lead to 113-108 with 43.8 seconds left.
That would prove to be the difference as the Cavs made their free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Earlier, Mozgov tipped in a Kenneth Faried miss to give the Nuggets a 29-26 lead at the end of one quarter.
Cleveland proceeded to shoot 65.4 percent in the second stanza, outscoring the Nuggets 42-28, to grab a 68-57 lead at the break.
"That 42-point second quarter just along with all the fouling in the game hurt us in the long run," Denver head coach Brian Shaw said.
The lead grew to its largest of the game when Irving knocked down a jumper with 5:08 left in the third for an 82-68 Cavs advantage. Denver, however, would close the quarter on a 12-5 run to trail 87-80 heading into the final quarter.
The Nuggets had won 10 straight games when Robinson scored at least 15 points before Friday ... Cleveland wrapped up its five-game road trip with a 3-2 mark ... The Cavs were 42-of-88 (47.7 percent) from the field ... Varejao finished with seven points, 16 rebounds, and a season-high seven assists in the win ... Cleveland outrebounded Denver 49-41.
01/18 01:34:54 ET
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