#CavsNuggets Game Preview - March 3, 2018

Quicken Loans Arena at 7:30 p.m. ET
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Game Summary

The Cavaliers (36-25) continue their five-game homestand on Saturday when they get set to battle the Northwest Division's Denver Nuggets (33-28) for the first time this season. Tipoff from The Q is at 7:30 p.m (ET).

The Wine & Gold are looking to win their second game of their longest homestand of the season after falling to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night in The Land. Despite pulling to within two points late in the fourth, the Cavaliers were unable to complete the comeback, losing the contest 108-97.

Despite faltering to the Sixers on Thursday, Cleveland has been playing arguably some their best defense of the season. They have held six of their last eight opponents to under .450 shooting from the field and have allowed a combined .448 shooting over that span (since February 9).

From an offensive standpoint, a number of Cavalier players excelled on the floor against Philly. LeBron James had a near triple-double (30 PTS, 9 REB, 8 AST) against the Sixers, which was also his 927th career game with at least 20 points, moving him ahead of Michael Jordan (926) for the fourth-most 20-point games in NBA history. This season, James has scored 20 points or more 50 times and 30 points or more 22 times.

Rodney Hood, who played his first game as a starter in Cleveland on Thursday, knocked down 11 points, five rebounds and five assists against Philadelphia, putting up his first game with a stat line of at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists this season (sixth of career).

Tristan Thompson has been dominating both the offensive and defensive boards. The big man has pulled down at least 11 rebounds in three consecutive games, averaging 12.3 boards over that stretch (since February 25).

As the Wine & Gold look to continue their upward trends on both offense and defense, the Denver Nuggets are heading into the second leg of a back-to-back after topping the Grizzlies in Memphis last night by a score of 108-102.

Denver currently owns a playoff spot in the Western Conference, but are only .5 games above the Los Angeles Clippers who hold the ninth-seed after they themselves routed the Knicks in LA yesterday.

However, despite losing two of the past three, it still has been an exciting time for the Nuggets who were just one game above .500 over a month ago before going on an 8-1 run from January 30 to February 23. The club did drop its two of its three most recent games, though, including a tough, 122-120, loss last Tuesday night to a Clippers team that is hot on their tail.

The Nuggets will need each of their five starters to give a repeat of their performance in their most recent game against the Clippers. Against Los Angeles, all five starters scored in double-digits with Gary Harris leading the way after posting 23 points. Will Barton tallied 19 while Wilson Chandler, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray all tallied 18 points.


Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio

Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 La Mega

For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.


Probable Starters/Status Update*

#3 - George Hill

#5 - JR Smith

#16 - Cedi Osman

#23 - LeBron James

#13 - Tristan Thompson

#27 - Jamal Murray

#14 - Gary Harris

#5 - Will Barton

#21 - Wilson Chandler

#15 - Nikola Jokic

Status Update: (Cavs) - Kevin Love, (Left hand fracture, Out), Jeff Green, (Lower back soreness, Out)

Status Update: (Nuggets) - Tyler Lydon, (Left knee surgery, Out)

*Subject to change.


Head-to-Head Matchup

As mentioned, the Cavaliers will play their fourth contest of this five-game homestand against the Denver Nuggets, which is the first meeting between the two teams this season.

In the two most recent meetings against Denver at The Q (both wins), the Cavs have averaged 124.5 points on .553 shooting from the field, including .492 (30-61) from three-point range and 34.0 assists. They have won by an average of 24.5 points over the last two home matchups against the Nuggets (124.5-100.0), limiting them to just .399 shooting from the field over that span.

Overall, the Cavs are 8-2 in their past 10 contests with the Nuggets (both home and away), splitting last season's series.

Cleveland and Denver will wrap up their two-game series next Wednesday in the Mile High City when the Cavs begin their longest road trip of the season. Tipoff from the Pepsi Center is at 10:30 p.m. (ET).


Game Promotions

CAVS STYLE YOUTH SOCKS + POSTGAME FREE THROWS PRESENTED BY BONA


On Deck

Following Saturday's contest with the Nuggets, the Cavs will polish off their five-game homestand against the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. This will be the fourth and final contest between the two Central Division rivals. Tipoff from The Q is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET).

After the Wine & Gold duel with Detroit, they'll then hit the road for six-straight games, taking on the Nuggets (March 7), Los Angeles Clippers, (March 9), Los Angeles Lakers (March 11), Phoenix Suns (March 13), Portland Trail Blazers (March 15) and Chicago Bulls on March 17.

Cleveland's first contest back at home will be on March 19 when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks for a 7:00 p.m. (ET) tipoff.

FIND SEATS | FULL SCHEDULE


Q Transformation

Q Transformation

Before you make your way downtown for Saturday's matchup between the Cavaliers and Nuggets, be sure to take note of the Huron Rd. lane closures that may effect your travels. For more information, CLICK HERE


#CavsNuggets Postgame: LeBron James – March 3, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Saturday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets at Quicken Loans Arena.

Video Playlist: Cavs vs. Nuggets - March 3, 2018

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#CavsNuggets Postgame: LeBron James – March 3, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Saturday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets at Quicken Loans Arena.
Mar 3, 2018  |  04:33

#CavsNuggets Postgame: George Hill - March 3, 2018

Cavaliers guard George Hill spoke with the media following Saturday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets at Quicken Loans Arena.
Mar 3, 2018  |  02:48

#CavsNuggets Postgame: Larry Nance Jr.– March 3, 2018

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media following Saturday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets at Quicken Loans Arena.
Mar 3, 2018  |  02:42

#CavsNuggets Postgame: Coach Lue - March 3, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Saturday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets at Quicken Loans Arena.
Mar 3, 2018  |  07:44

GAME RECAP: Nuggets 126, Cavaliers 117

Gary Harris scores 32 points and Will Barton adds 23 as the Nuggets defeat the Cavaliers 126-117.
Mar 3, 2018  |  01:54

LeBron James Grabs Triple-Double vs. Denver

LeBron James tallies 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in the Cavs', 126-117, loss to the Nuggets.
Mar 3, 2018  |  01:18

Swish Fakes Out Defender, Drains Bucket

Swish brings the game to within three late in the fourth after faking out a Nuggets defender and draining the jump shot.
Mar 3, 2018  |  00:13

Clarkson Nails Corner Trey

Jordan Clarkson nails a corner three near the end of the third quarter to bring the Cavs within four points of the Nuggets.
Mar 3, 2018  |  00:10

LBJ Drops a Slick Dime to TT

James handles the ball in the paint before dumping it off to Tristan Thompson who sends it sky high for a layup in the third quarter against the Nuggets.
Mar 3, 2018  |  00:08

Swish Hits Pretty Stepback Jumper

JR Smith nails a slick jump shot during the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
Mar 3, 2018  |  00:08

Intel True View: Cedi Nails Dunk

Experience Intel True View with this unique angle of Cedi's first quarter dunk.
Mar 3, 2018  |  00:18

Intel True View: TT Grabs Alley-Oop

Experience Intel True View with this unique angle of LBJ's lob to Thompson in the first quarter.
Mar 3, 2018  |  00:15

Intel True View: Hill Buries Trey

Experience Intel True View with this unique angle of George Hill's first half trey.
Mar 3, 2018  |  00:16

Featured Highlight: Nance Jr. Jams It

Larry Nance Jr. goes up for a monster one-handed jam in the second quarter, bringing the bench, and the crowd, to their feet.
Mar 3, 2018  |  00:13

Clarkson Powers Past Denver Defense

Jordan Clarkson takes the ball down the court before powering past a Denver defender enroute to a spectacular bucket.
Mar 3, 2018  |  00:11

LBJ Connects with TT on Dunk

LeBron James and Tristan Thompson are "More Driven" after executing a perfect alley-oop dunk in the first quarter against the Nuggets.
Mar 3, 2018  |  00:13

Cedi Throws It Down Hard

Cedi Osman throws down a big dunk against the Nuggets after LBJ makes a nice assist in the first quarter.
Mar 3, 2018  |  00:10

#CavsNuggets Shootaround:JR Smith-March 3, 2018

Cavaliers guard JR Smith spoke with the media following Saturday's shootaround at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Mar 3, 2018  |  05:10

#CavsNuggets Shootaround:LeBron James-March 3, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Saturday's shootaround at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Mar 3, 2018  |  04:39