NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, January 17th
(All times Eastern)
Cleveland Cavaliers (14-25) at Denver Nuggets (20-18), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Cavaliers will try to end their western
road trip with a winning record Friday night when they visit the Pepsi Center
to meet the Denver Nuggets.
The Cavs, who own the second-worst road mark in the league at 4-17, defeated
the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers on the sojourn, but fell to the
Sacramento Kings and most recently, the Portland Trail Blazers.
The score was knotted at 96-96 when Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge put the team
on his back with a personal 6-0 run. Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard
followed with 3-pointers to seal the 108-96 victory for the Blazers.
Newly-acquired Luol Deng led the Cavs in scoring for the second straight tilt
with 25 points, while Kyrie Irving dropped 21 points in the setback. Dion
Waiters chipped in 18 off the bench as Cleveland fell to 4-4 in January.
Tristan Thompson finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Anderson Varejao only had eight points, but pulled down 14 boards.
"You have to give LaMarcus Aldridge credit," Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown
said. "He hit some tough shots down the stretch, they came up with a couple of
tough rebounds, for kick-out threes and it kind of discombobulated us a little
bit when they scored."
The Cavs return to the Q on Monday for five straight.
The Nuggets had a five-game winning streak snapped in Utah on Monday, but they
rebounded with a great road victory over the Golden State Warriors, 123-116,
During this great stretch, the Nuggets are averaging 117.7 points per game and
the 123 they put on the Warriors was the third-highest total for Denver in its
J.J. Hickson was the difference in Wednesday's win over the Warriors. He
grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds and supplied 13 points, including the first
four of a game-closing 8-0 spurt.
"J.J. Hickson was a monster on the boards," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said.
With Denver trailing 116-115 and just over a minute to play, Hickson buried a
pullup jumper to put the Nuggets on top before stripping Stephen Curry at the
other end and going coast-to-coast for a two-handed dunk and a 119-116 lead.
Ty Lawson, who went 4-for-4 from the foul line late, finished with 22 points
and 11 assists, Nate Robinson registered 24 points off the bench, and Wilson
Chandler chipped in 22 points and six boards for the Nuggets.
Randy Foye, who grabbed a key offensive rebound down the stretch to keep
Denver's hopes alive, finished with 21 and Timofey Mozgov added 10 in a
The Cavaliers beat the Nuggets by 10 in Cleveland on Dec. 4, but have lost 10
of their last 13 in Denver.
01/17 10:28:00 ET