EditorsNote: Several small changes throughout
Collin Sexton scored 25 points, Kevin Love had 19 points and 15 rebounds, and the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Denver Nuggets 111-103 on Saturday night.
Tristan Thompson had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Cedi Osman had 11 points and 12 boards and Darius Garland scored 18 for the Cavaliers.
Jamal Murray scored 24 points, Nikola Jokic had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Will Barton scored 18 points. Jerami Grant added 13 points for Denver.
The Nuggets were outscored in the first three quarters before rallying in the fourth. Down by 17, they came storming back, cutting it to 10 on Mason Plumlee’s three-point play and Barton’s jumper.
Thompson scored on an alley-oop out of a timeout, but Murray and Jokic took over. Murray hit a 3-pointer, a dunk and two free throws and Jokic converted a three-point play during a 10-0 run that cut the deficit to 90-88.
Sexton hit a 3-pointer, but Jokic’s putback and Murray’s 3-pointer tied it at 93 midway through the fourth.
After a Cleveland bucket, Jokic hit a 3-pointer with 4:46 left to give Denver a 96-95 lead, its first of the night.
The Cavaliers responded with 3-pointers from Osman and Sexton to go back ahead 101-98 with 3:32 left.
Garland hit two short jumpers, the Nuggets missed two layups in the final three minutes, and the Cavaliers put it away.
The Cavaliers led by as many as 11 in the first half and were ahead 44-34 when Love hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc.
Denver hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get within four, but Garland answered with a 3-pointer, Love hit a bank shot and Thompson’s dunk made it 51-42 at halftime.
The lead grew to 17 when Sexton hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 7:50 left in the third.
The Nuggets got within 11 on Grant’s first 3-pointer of the game, but the Cavaliers answered with a 3-pointer from Brandon Knight and a tip-in by Thompson during a 9-4 run, and Cleveland took an 85-71 lead into the fourth quarter.
—Field Level Media