After a heartbreaking loss in Houston on Monday night, the Nuggets have returned home to face King James & Company tonight in the Pepsi Center.
In our first meeting with Cleveland, the Nuggets led the Cavs through the first, outscoring them 33-28, before they came back in the second, their travels catching up with them (it was the third game of their road trip) as they were outscored 31-22.
After the half, the Cavaliers opened up an 18-0 run in the third, when they set the pace for the rest of the game. Cleveland opened up the third quarter by making 6/7 from downtown while the Nuggets were able to just make 1/7 from beyond the arc in the first few minutes following the half. The Nuggets ultimately took the 125-109 road loss.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets back on February 12th with 27 points, 2 blocks, and 4 assists. Jamal Murray and Gary Harris had 16 points a piece. Murray also contributed with one assist. Harris added 3 rebounds and a single assist.
In our last matchup against the Cavs, we were without Gallo, Kenneth Faried, and Emmanuel Mudiay. Tonight, we will, once again, be without Gallo, but Kenneth Faried is back and we could use his energy on the court if we want to get this win over Cleveland and get a bigger cushion on our eighth seed hold.
Tonight is a MUST WIN, especially with the Nuggets being just one game over the ninth in the West Trail Blazers. The Blazers lost last night to the Bucks, 93-90.
Nuggets Stats: Cavaliers Stats:
PPG: 111.3 PPG: 110.4
FG%: 46.8 FG%: 46.9
RPG: 46.3 RPG: 43.7
APG: 25.1 APG: 22.4
Last 10: 6.4 Last 10: 5-5
Keys to the game, Courtesy of Sean English:
- Defense in crunch time: If the game is close, the Nuggets need to put extra emphasis on getting stops down the stretch.
- Three point barrage: Limit the 3 point ability of players such as Kyrie Irving, Kyle Korver, and J.R. Smith.
- LeBron: Much easier said than done, contain LeBron James.
Danilo Gallinari (knee) doubtful
Wilson Chandler (groin) questionable
Darrell Arthur (knee) questionable