Cavs hold off Nuggets, sweep season series

Cavs hold off Nuggets, sweep season series

Kevin Love scored 27 points, Collin Sexton had 25 and the host Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Denver Nuggets 104-102 on Saturday night.

Cedi Osman added 20 points, Tristan Thompson had nine points and 13 rebounds, and Matthew Dellavedova had seven points and 14 assists for Cleveland, which swept the season series against the Nuggets and ended a four-game skid.

Will Barton scored 22 points, Gary Harris had 18 and Jamal Murray added 17 for Denver. Nikola Jokic had just eight points but added eight rebounds and eight assists.

The Cavaliers led by five early in the fourth but went cold for nearly five minutes, allowing Denver to go up 93-90. Sexton ended the drought with a pair of free throws with 5:50 left, and that started a 10-0 run that put Cleveland ahead lead to 100-93 with 2:50 remaining.

It was 104-99 after Love hit a shot, but Harris drained a corner 3-pointer to make it a two-point game with 41.3 seconds left. Thompson missed two free throws with 20 seconds to go, but Murray missed an 11-foot fadeaway at the buzzer that would have sent it to overtime.

The Cavaliers trailed 61-58 at halftime but grabbed their first lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Osman and Sexton scored five points each in the first 3:03 to give Cleveland a 72-67 lead. The Cavs enjoyed a six-point advantage after another 3-pointer from Osman.

Denver climbed within a point on a free throw by Harris with 4:16 left in the third, but the Cavaliers stretched the lead to 83-78 a minute later. Monte Morris’ floater in the final seconds of the period cut Cleveland’s lead to 85-83 heading into the fourth.

Michael Porter Jr.’s layup tied it on the first possession, but a 3-pointer by Love and a putback dunk from Larry Nance Jr. made it 90-85 in favor of the Cavs.

The Nuggets led by as many as 11 in the first quarter and by three at intermission despite just six points from Jokic in the first half. Barton had 15 and Harris 12 in the first half to lead the way.

–Field Level Media

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