Joe G's Running Game Blog

January 17, 2014
by Joe Gabriele Managing Editor

FINAL - CLE 117, DEN 109 ... The Nuggets cut Cleveland’s 14-point lead to just three in the fourth quarter, but the Wine and Gold weathered the storm and pulled away for the 117-109 win on Friday night in Denver to close their West Coast trip at 3-2. Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 23 points and Tristan Thompson doubled-up with 20 points and 10 boards. Anderson Varejao led both teams with 16 boards to go with seven assists and three steals.

22.3, 4Q - CLE 115, DEN 109 ... CJ Miles cans a pair of FT; Cavs looking to close this one out, get home with a 3-2 record on West Coast trip.

43.8, 4Q - CLE 113, DEN 108 ... Cavs trying to weather DEN's three-point barrage late; Nuggets going with 3 guards but Cavs staying big and it's paid off; Andy's been huge tonight -- 15 reb, 7 assist, 3 stl; Deng, strong all night.

3:19, 4Q - CLE 105, DEN 102 ... Bad last possession for CLE, Robinson cans 3pt FG and Foye steals in-bounds pass for easy two, Cavs now clinging to one-possession lead; Cavs shooting 49 pct FG.

5:41, 4Q - CLE 98, DEN 91 ... Nuggets cut Cavs' lead to three, but CLE bounces back, get a big bucket from Kyrie and Andy headed to stripe after T.O.; J. Jack now w/13 pts off bench, 5-7 FG; Tristan, 18 pts, Kyrie, 17, Miles, 16, Deng, 14; Andy leads all rebounders with 14.

End 3Q - CLE 87, DEN 80 ... Cavs got a little stagnant towards end of 3Q, too much one-on-one action; Tristan, 18 pts, 2 blk; Kyrie and Miles, 15 pts apiece; Deng, 14 pts, just 4-13 FG, but 6-7 from the stripe; Waiters, 9 pts but 3-13 FG; Andy, 13 pts, 5 asst, +14 on the floor.

4:57, 3Q - CLE 82, DEN 68 ... Nuggets can explode in a hurry, but right now Cavs in total control and Pepsi Center is quiet; Tristan leads everyone w/17 pts; Andy, only 2 pts, but 13 boards and team-highs in assists (5) and steals (3); Kyrie and Miles, 15 pts apiece, Deng w/10; Jack & Waiters, 9 pts each off the bench.

End 1H - CLE 68, DEN 57 ... Excellent 1H for CLE, Miles 3pt at buzzer puts Cavs up double-digits; Tristan, Kyrie and Miles, all with with 13 pts -- Thompson and Irving, a combined 11-for-13 from the floor; Waiters and J. Jack each w/9 pts off the bench; Cavs shooting 57 pct FG after 45 pct in 1Q; Andy already with 10 reb -- one less than all five Nugget starters; Cavs have looked sharp, aggressive all night -- definitely not like a team at the end of a five-game trip in the altitude.

2:35, 2Q - CLE 55, DEN 46 ... Cavs have been the aggressors in 2Q, turned it up on defensive end, also shooting 54 pct on O; Kyrie (4-5 FG) and Miles (4-7), 10 pts apiece; Andy already w/10 boards.

End 1Q - DEN 29, CLE 26 ... Thompson leads Cavaliers with 9 pts, shooting 4-4 FG, rest of team, 5-15. Randy Foye leads everyone w/11 pts; Andy leads both teams w/6 reb.

5:21, 1Q - DEN 14, CLE 13 ... Tristan off to a big start for CLE, leads everyone w/9 pts, 4-4 FG; Andy equaling entire Nuggets team w/6 boards already; Cavs shooting 46 pct FG so far.

Pregame - The Cavs come into Friday’s contest trying to go 3-2 on the five-game West Coast roadie and sweep the Nuggets in the process. The Nuggets are red-hot, winners of six of their last seven, but the Cavaliers kept Denver in check in their first meeting – a 98-88 win on December 4 at The Q. In that game, Cleveland blocked a season-high 13 shots and held the Nuggets to 39 percent shooting. The Cavs already have five wins against Western Conference teams; only Miami, Indiana, Atlanta and Brooklyn have more.

Several Cavs come into Friday’s game hot. Luol Deng has topped the 25-point plateau in each of his last two games. Tristan Thompson has registered double-doubles in five of his last six contests. Since December 29, Anderson Varejao is tied for the NBA lead in rebounding with L.A.’s DeAndre Jordan at 14.0 boards per game. Andy has grabbed 11 or more rebounds in nine of his last 10 contests. Kyrie Irving leads all Eastern Conference point guards in scoring and (21.4 ppg) and Dion Waiters is averaging 15.6 ppg off the bench this season, the best bench scoring mark since Hot Rod Williams (16..9) in 1989-90.

Cavs go with same starting lineup tonight: G Irving, G Miles, F Deng, F Thompson, C Varejao