#CavsNuggets Game Preview - March 7, 2018

Pepsi Center at 10:30 p.m. ET
Cavs.com

Game Summary

The Cavaliers (37-26) travel to the Rockies on Wednesday to face off against the Denver Nuggets (35-29) for the first of six road contests. Tipoff from the Pepsi Center is at 10:30 p.m. (ET).

The Wine & Gold are hitting the road on a high note after cruising past the Detroit Pistons on Monday night, ending their five-game homestand with a 112-90 victory.

In the win over Detroit, the Cavs' "D" held the Pistons to 34-87 (.391) shooting from the field, marking the seventh time in 10 games that they've held an opponent to under .450 shooting. It was also the third-lowest field goal percentage the team has allowed this season (.375 at PHI on 11/27 and .383 vs. CHA on 11/24).

The Cavs' defensive skills shouldn't overshadow their offensive output. After topping the Pistons, Cleveland has now put up least 110 points for the 33rd time this season (27-6 record). They also had advantages in points in the paint (40-26), second chance points (19-10), fast break points (14-0), assists (29-17) and rebounds (53-40).

With this offensive explosion, the Wine & Gold sit at the top of the conference in two categories since February 7. The Cavs lead the Eastern Conference in points per game (115.3, sixth in the NBA) and field goal percentage (.499, fourth in NBA).

A big contributor to the Cavs' recent success from the floor came from Larry Nance Jr. Against Detroit, Nance provided a huge boost of energy in his first start as a member of the Wine & Gold, throwing down a plethora of monster dunks throughout the game on his way to a career-highs of 22 points and 15 rebounds. Monday's win was also the first time in Nance Jr.'s career where he scored in double figures for four-straight games.

LeBron James also had another impressive night, posting 31 points in the victory. LBJ has now scored at least 30 points in four of the last five games, averaging 30.0 points (.527 FG%, .462 3FG%), 10.2 rebounds and 10.0 assists in 37.8 minutes since February 25.

James and Nance Jr. will start together for the second-straight game when they take on the Nuggets for the second time in the last three contests on Wednesday night. The Akron natives and the rest of the Cavaliers will seek revenge on Denver who topped the club this past Saturday at The Q.

Denver, who dropped last night's contest with the Dallas Mavericks, 118-107, still sit a half game up on the Los Angeles Clippers who also lost their game last night to the New Orleans Pelicans. Denver can move ahead in the standings tonight, if they are able to win the second leg of their back-to-back against Cleveland.

If the Nuggets want to continue their solid midseason play, they'll need a repeat performance of their latest, 126-117, win over the Cavaliers. This could be tough, though, as they head into a back-to-back series. Against the Cavs, two Denver players scored 20-plus points with Gary Harris leading the way with 32 points. Will Barton came off the bench, tallying 23 points, as well as eight boards and seven dimes.


Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, ESPN

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

#1 - Rodney Hood

#23 - LeBron James

#22 - Larry Nance Jr.

#27 - Jamal Murray

#14 - Gary Harris

#4 - Paul Millsap

#21 - Wilson Chandler

#15 - Nikola Jokic

Status Update: (Cavs) - Kevin Love, (Left hand fracture, Out), Jeff Green, (Low back soreness, Probable), Tristan Thompson, (Right ankle sprain, Out)

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

*Subject to change.


Head-to-Head Matchup

Wednesday's matchup will be the second, and final time, the Cavaliers and Nuggets do battle this season. As mentioned, Denver leads the series 1-0 after topping Cleveland last Saturday in The Land.

A positive note for the Wine & Gold is that the Cavs have played exceptionally well at the Pepsi Center is recent memory. In fact, Cleveland is 3-1 over the last four contests in the Centennial State.

Even despite losing their last meeting with Denver, the Cavs have shot well from the floor in the past few games with the Nuggets. The Cavaliers have shot over .500 from the field in each of the last four games against Wednesday's opponent (.523 on 3/3/18, .506 on 3/22/17, .548 on 2/11/17 and .558 on 3/21/16).

Overall, the Cavs will be looking to improve their record against the Western Conference this season, which currently sits at 10-12. They have won three of their past five games against teams from the West.


On Deck

Following the Cavs' final meeting with the Nuggets on Wednesday, they'll continue their longest road trip of the season on Friday when they dance with the Los Angeles Clippers at STAPLES Center (10:30 p.m. ET). They'll then take on the Los Angeles Lakers (March 11), Phoenix Suns (March 13), Portland Trail Blazers (March 15) and Chicago Bulls on St. Patrick's Day (March 17) before returning to The Land on March 19 to battle the Milwaukee Bucks. Those contests with the Bulls and Bucks will be the last two Central Division showdowns for the Wine & Gold this regular season.

FIND SEATS | FULL SCHEDULE

#CavsNuggets Postgame Wrap-Up presented by Rocket Mortgage

Cavs.com's Fred McLeod checks in from the Mile High City to wrap-up the Wine & Gold's victory against the Nuggets on Wednesday.

Cavs at Nuggets - March 7, 2018

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#CavsNuggets Postgame Wrap-Up presented by Rocket Mortgage

Cavs.com's Fred McLeod checks in from the Mile High City to wrap-up the Wine & Gold's victory against the Nuggets on Wednesday.
Mar 8, 2018  |  03:20

#CavsNuggets Postgame: Kyle Korver - March 7, 2018

Cavaliers guard Kyle Korver spoke with the media following Wednesday's 113-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.
Mar 8, 2018  |  02:41

#CavsNuggets Postgame: Larry Nance Jr. - March 7, 2018

Cavaliers center Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media following Wednesday's 113-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.
Mar 8, 2018  |  02:45

#CavsNuggets Postgame: LeBron James - March 7, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Wednesday's 113-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.
Mar 8, 2018  |  04:39

#CavsNuggets Postgame: Coach Lue - March 7, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Wednesday's 113-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.
Mar 8, 2018  |  04:08

#CavsNuggets On-Court Postgame: Rodney Hood - March 7, 2018

Cavaliers guard Rodney Hood spoke with FOX Sports Ohio's Allie Clifton following Wednesday's 113-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.
Mar 8, 2018  |  01:45

#CavsNuggets On-Court Postgame: LeBron James

Lebron James talks about the big win in Denver to start off a six-game road trip and playing at an all-time high right now.
Mar 8, 2018  |  01:11

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 113, Nuggets 108

LeBron James scores 39 as Cavs seal the win late in the fourth quarter.
Mar 8, 2018  |  01:51

LeBron James Scores 39 vs. Nuggets

LeBron James scored 39 points, including nine down the stretch, and dished out 10 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Denver Nuggets 113-108 on Wednesday night after squandering a 16-point lea
Mar 8, 2018  |  02:01

LBJ Hits Clutch Jumpers Down the Stretch

LeBron James seals the deal for the Wine & Gold in Denver with a pair of difficult fadeaway jumpers.
Mar 8, 2018  |  00:43

Korver, Green Hit Back-to-Back Bombs

Kyle Korver and Jeff Green can triples on consecutive possessions to give the Cavs the lead back.
Mar 8, 2018  |  00:30

LBJ Dimes Zizic for the And-One

LeBron James drops the pretty pocket pass to Ante Zizic who finishes the bucket, plus the foul.
Mar 8, 2018  |  00:16

Nance Jr. with the Hoop and the Harm

George Hill and Larry Nance Jr. work the pick-and-roll resulting in a Nance Jr. and-one.
Mar 7, 2018  |  00:14

Clarkson with the Fancy Finish

Jordan Clarkson gets fancy with the layup and converts the up-and-under reverse.
Mar 7, 2018  |  00:16

Featured Highlight: Swish Dimes Zizic

JR Smith drops the pretty dime to Ante Zizic who deposits the dunk.
Mar 7, 2018  |  00:10

Hood with the Flush

Larry Nance Jr. gets the steal and throws it ahead to Rodney Hood who throws the hammer down.
Mar 7, 2018  |  00:10

Defense Leads to Offense

Rodney Hood gets the steal at one end and takes it down to the other for the slam.
Mar 7, 2018  |  00:10

#CavsNuggets Shootaround: LeBron James - March 7, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media prior to Wednesday's shootaround at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Mar 7, 2018  |  03:51

#CavsNuggets Shootaround: Coach Lue - March 7, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media prior to Wednesday's shootaround at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Mar 7, 2018  |  02:27