Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried lift Nuggets to ninth straight win
Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried buried crucial baskets down the stretch as the Denver Nuggets extended their winning streak to nine with a 111-103 triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.
A dunk by Corey Brewer pushed the Nuggets ahead by 14, 93-79, in the fourth period but the Cavaliers mounted a comeback behind All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, cutting the deficit to 105-99 with 1:40 left in the game.
However, the Nuggets unleashed a strong finishing kick with Gallinari sinking two foul shots, Faried adding a dunk and Ty Lawson scoring on a layup to offset Irving’s two baskets for the final count
The winning streak was the Nuggets’ (33-18) longest since posting 10 straight wins from March 30 to April 15, 2005. Denver has won 15 of their last 17 outings.
Gallinari finished with 19 points while seven other teammates scored in double digits. Faried added 17, Andre Iguodala had 14 and JaVale McGee Miller finished with 13 markers and four swats for the Nuggets.
Lawson added 11 points while Kosta Koufus, Brewer and Andre Miller added 10 points apiece for the Nuggets. Wilson Chandler was the only player fielded by coach George Karl who did not finish in double digits but scored seven.
Irving was plagued with foul trouble early but finished with 26 points on 10-for-24 shooting and six rebounds, seven assists for the Cavaliers (16-35), whose season-high three-game winning run ended with the loss.
Alonzo Gee scored 16 of his 20 points in the opening period, Wayne Ellington had 13 while Tristan Thompson and Shaun Livingston added 11 points apiece for Cleveland.
The Nuggets stormed to an 8-0 lead but Gee scored 15 of Cleveland’s first 17 points to give the Cavaliers a 17-15 advantage.
The Cavaliers extended their lead to 26-19 but the Nuggets tied the count at 30 with back-to-back baskets by Chandler. Irving gave the Cavaliers a two-point edge going into the second period with a layup with a second left.