Notebook: Nuggets 111, Cavaliers 103



Posted Feb 10, 2013 12:12 AM

Brian Dulik, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Small forward Danilo Gallinari collected 19 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots as the Denver Nuggets defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-103. Power forward Kenneth Faried added 17 points and seven boards for the Nuggets, who extended their winning streak to nine games and are 15-2 since Jan. 5. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers across the board with 26 points, six rebounds and seven assists, while small forward Alonzo Gee chipped in 20 points. Denver's win streak is its longest since a 10-gamer from March 30-April 15, 2005.

QUOTABLE: "We ran into a team that's playing pretty good basketball. To be honest with you, I thought we did a pretty good job of hanging in there. We challenged these guys and we played pretty hard for 48 minutes of basketball."
-- Cavaliers coach Byron Scott.

THE STAT: Eight Denver players reached double figures in scoring, including all five starters. Gallinari and Faried were joined by shooting guard Andre Iguodala (14), center JaVale McGee (13), point guard Ty Lawson (11), center Kosta Koufos (10), point guard Andre Miller (10), and shooting guard Corey Brewer (10). "Not only did we have eight players in double figures, all nine guys who played were a plus, which doesn't happen very often," Nuggets coach George Karl said. Small forward Wilson Chandler scored seven points and was a team-high plus-9 for Denver.

TURNING POINT: The Nuggets scored six straight points to end the first half, taking the lead for good at 58-52. Denver's 6-0 run came in the final 42 seconds of the second quarter and was fueled by two poor, quick shots taken by Cavaliers rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters. Lawson had four points and an assist during the spurt; the latter coming on a fast-break dunk by Iguodala with just 0.9 seconds left. "It helped that Cleveland played last night because our energy was at a higher level," Karl said.

QUOTABLE II: "Both of our groups -- the starters and the bench -- were lacking a bit of energy tonight. We were a step behind and they just outplayed us. Going forward, we just have to learn from this game."
-- Irving.

HOT: The Nuggets outscored the Cavaliers 62-32 in the paint and had a 19-5 advantage in fast-break points. ... McGee shot 6-for-7 from the floor and had a game-best four blocked shots in 18 minutes off the bench. ... Miller had 10 points, six rebounds and five assists backing up Lawson. ... Ohio native Koufos shared game-high honors with nine rebounds. ... Cleveland has won six of its last nine games at Quicken Loans Arena. ... Gee made all eight of his field goal attempts, including three 3-pointers. He scored 16 points on 6-for-6 shooting in the opening quarter.

NOT: Cavaliers centers Tyler Zeller and Marreese Speights combined to shoot 2-for-13, making them 5-for-26 over the last two games. ... The oft-injured Irving took a knee to the thigh in the fourth quarter. ... Cleveland shooting guard Daniel Gibson and small forward Omri Casspi were active, but did not play for the second straight night. ... The Nuggets committed 20 turnovers, leading to 24 Cavaliers points. Faried led the way with five miscues, while Gallinari and Iguodala had four apiece.

QUOTABLE III: "When we play defense, there is nobody who can stop us. We know that when our aggressiveness on defense goes up, we win games."
-- Gallinari.

GOOD MOVE: The Nuggets received clearance to fly into Boston after the game, which was in doubt earlier in the day because Logan Airport was closed because of the East Coast blizzard. Denver is scheduled to play a 6 p.m. game Sunday against the Celtics. "Hopefully, the snow isn't too bad tonight, and we can have a relaxing day and sleep in," Karl said. "That would be nice, but we'll see what happens."

BAD MOVE: The Cavaliers played home games on consecutive nights for the first time this season, but Scott only went five players deep on his bench. Reserves Speights and power forward Luke Walton were visibly gassed and missed 12 of their 13 field goal attempts, while starters Zeller and Waiters were 2-for-9 and physically dominated by their Denver counterparts.

NOTABLE: Karl remains peeved that the Nuggets did not have a player selected for the NBA All-Star Game. "We're going to try and shock the world and become the first team to win a championship without an All-Star," he said. "There are only about 10 true superstars in the NBA, I think, but I believe Andre Iguodala, Ty Lawson, Andre Miller, and Kenneth Faried are in the next 40 players." ... The Cavaliers are 6-3 since acquiring Speights, Wayne Ellington, point guard Josh Selby, and a first-round draft pick from Memphis in exchange for power forward Jon Leuer on Jan. 22. ... Cleveland is 3-1 on its ongoing seven-game homestand.

NEXT: For the Nuggets, Sunday @ Boston, Tuesday @ Toronto, Wednesday @ Brooklyn. For the Cavaliers, Monday vs. Minnesota, Wednesday vs. San Antonio, Feb. 20 vs. New Orleans.