USA Today Sports

Cavs handle the Nuggets

The Cavaliers used an 18-0 run to open the third quarter to cruise to a 125-109 win over the Denver Nuggets at Quicken Loans Arena.

CLEVELAND--The Cavaliers were glad to be back home.

After four-straight road games, the Cavs returned to defeat the Denver Nuggets 125-109 in front of a sell out crowd at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs improved to 37-16, while the Nuggets drop to 24-30. The Cavaliers have the second best home record in the NBA at 23-5.

The Cavs started slowly, but went on a 13-2 run early in the second quarter to take the lead by four at the half. They then took control of the game and didn't look back as they started the third quarter on an 18-0 run to take a 77-55 lead early in the quarter on their way to the win. 

"We had stops and were getting out in transition," Tyronn Lue said. "We got the three ball going. LeBron (James) did a great job getting into the paint and making the right play, the right pass. Kevin (Love) knocked down a couple and Kyrie (Irving) knocked down a couple. We got the three ball going in the third quarter and it opened the game up for us."

Irving and James led the way with 27 points each, followed by Love with 16 points and Kyle Korver adding 14 points. Tristan Thompson rounded out the double figure scoring with 13 points.

Nikola Jokic, who had a career-best 40 points against the Knicks in his last game scored 27 points to lead the Nuggets. 

Tip Ins

No. 3: After wearing No. 32 in his first game with the Cavs, Derrick Williams is now wearing No. 3. He continued to show his ability to score as he scored seven points in his first seven minutes off the bench. 

Double-Double Machines:Tristan Thompson scored 13 points and hauled down 13 rebounds for a double. LeBron James had 27 points and 12 assists for one, as well. Kevin Love just missed a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds. 

Shoot it KK: Kyle Korver is 12-of-14 from 3-point range in his last three games and needs four more 3's for 2,000 in his career. He missed his first attempt in the first quarter, but then hit his next two attempts and had nine first half points on 4-of-7 shooting. He finished with 14 points on 6-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-3 from three point land.

Hitting the 3: The Cavaliers continued their solid three-point shooting hitting 15-of-30 for 50 percent, including 8 in the second half. Irving hit 5-of-11, while Kevin Love was 3-of-5. 

Dishing it Out: The Cavs had 15 assists in the first half and finished with 30. Meanwhile, they turned the ball over just seven times in the first half and finished with 16. LeBron James led the Cavs with 12 assists. 

They're Out: Besides Chris Andersen (knee) and J.R. Smith (thumb) being out, Iman Shumpert (left ankle sprain) is out. Tyronn Lue said he didn't know if Shumpert would play before the all-star game, which is next weekend. Emmanuel Mudiay (lower back strain) Kenneth Faried (right ankle sprain), and Danilo Gallinari (left groin strain) did not play for Denver.

Next Up: The Cavs will travel to Minnesota to play the Timberwolves Tuesday night at 8 pm and then return home to host the Indianapolis Pacers Wednesday night at 7:00 pm.


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