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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Game 40: Cavs at Nuggets

Pepsi Center
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED?: This 3-2 record on their West Coast trip could be the turning point in the Cavs' season.

This was quite an accomplishment for the Cavs, who improved to 5-17 on the road this season. This was impressive, especially after they were blown out by 44 points in Sacramento on the second game of the trip.

They were quite competitive in the other four games on the trip. Even in the loss to Portland, they were right there before succumbing late to the Trail Blazers.

The Cavs took control of Friday's game with a 42-point second quarter. They also rang up a season-high 69 points in the first half.

Guard Kyrie Irving came to play against the Nuggets. He had 23 points, which matched Wilson Chandler for game-high honors. Irving had four rebounds, six assists and a block. He shot well from the field, too, with 9 of 16 attempts from the field.

His big game was needed, too. It seemed like forward Luol Deng had an off night, but he finished with 18 points.

The star of the game for the Cavs was power forward Tristan Thompson, who ended with 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. In two games against the Nuggets, he has averaged 18.5 points, 15.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.

Maybe he should face off against Kenneth Faried every game. He certainly gets up for the matchup.

Center Anderson Varejao was a beast on the boards with 16 rebounds.

The Nuggets had won 10 of the last 13 games against the Cavs at the Pepsi Center dating back to 2000-01. Blame it on the altitude 

Denver had been on a hot streak, too, having won six of their last seven before Friday. They also had a four-game home winning streak snapped.

The Cavs return home for a five-game homestand. It's time to make their move.

The Nuggets list point guard Andre Miller as "not with team." The former Cavs standout is unhappy with Coach Brian Shaw and has chose to go home. They'll likely include him in a trade.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Dallas at 1 p.m. Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Luol Deng (6-9, 220) vs. Wilson Chandler (6-8, 220)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. Kenneth Faried (6-8, 228)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. J.J. Hickson (6-9, 242)
SG C.J. Miles (6-6, 231) vs. Randy Foye (6-4, 213)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Ty Lawson (6-2, 200)
Cavs - G Sergey Karasev, G Carrick Felix
Nuggets - F Danilo Gallinaro, C JaVale McGee
Tom Washington, Karl Lane, Mark Lindsay\


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