DENVER (AP) — Paul Millsap scored a season-excessive 22 facets on his 36th birthday, Michael Porter Jr. added 19 and the Denver Nuggets routed the Cleveland Cavaliers 133-95 on Wednesday evening to snap a 3-game skid.
The Nuggets opened a 23-level lead in the principle half of, noticed it develop to 34 in the third — notoriously a field quarter for them this season — and coasted from there as Nikola Jokic and his fellow starters received the fourth quarter off. Jokic performed with 12 facets and 12 assists.
“When we play the factual plan, we’re a extraordinarily beautiful team,” Millsap said.
It used to be the fifth straight loss for the Cavaliers. It’s moreover tied for their most lopsided lack of the season. They had been beaten 141-103 on Jan. 24 at Boston.
“To me, the Nuggets despatched a optimistic message from the leap ball to the end of the sport,” Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “The message used to be, there used to be an intent to embarrass us, whether it used to be through physicality, whether it used to be showboating after performs, whether it used to be the shot on the end of the sport. They despatched a optimistic message. Their intent used to be to embarrass us and they did it.”
Bickerstaff later clarified he wasn’t calling out the Nuggets.
“I’m now not announcing by any plan a disrespectful thing to the Nuggets at all,” Bickerstaff said. “It used to be an embarrassing loss.”
Because no disrespect intended, Millsap said.
“We have a aim we’re attempting to attain,” Millsap said. “They factual passed off to be accessible tonight. We weren’t attempting to attain out and embarrass them.”
Jarrett Allen had 18 facets and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who’re 0-2 on their five-game day out out West. Cleveland swept the season sequence with Denver closing season.
Denver’s season-excessive 133 facets intended a trend of eating for injured Cleveland forward Larry Nance Jr., who posted on social media a prankish grunt to be pleased as many McDonald’s Rooster McNuggets because the Nuggets scored facets. Nance, sidelined with a broken left hand and now not with the team, had 12 containers of 10-portion McNuggets all lined up on the counter, total with sides of BBQ sauce.
Nance later posted a describe of waving a white flag in a signal of surrender.
The Nuggets turned up the defensive stress, retaining Cleveland to 38.3% taking pictures from the floor. The Cavs overlooked their opening 11 3-level makes an strive earlier than lastly connecting. They performed 8 of 37 from lengthy vary.
Prior to the sport, the Nuggets had a coronary heart-to-coronary heart conversation in an effort to rupture out of their funk.
“It is doubtless you’ll possibly possibly be ready to focus on it and focus on it, but usually you’d like to be about it,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.
Cavaliers: The team used to be with out G Matthew Dellavedova (concussion) and F Kevin Like (strained factual calf). … The Cavs outrebounded Denver by a 49-39 margin.
Nuggets: Rookie Zeke Nnaji scored all 14 of his facets in the fourth quarter, together with four 3-pointers and a dunk that drew a technical for his celebration. … G Facundo Campazzo had five facets in his return. He overlooked two video games due to factual knee soreness.
Bickerstaff and his head coaching counterpart, Malone, followed a equivalent avenue. They’re both sons of NBA coaches and paid their dues by rising during the ranks.
“Fairly about a appreciate to him, his family, and factual the path he’s taken,” Malone said. “He’s earned all the pieces he’s received.”
The Cavaliers are a younger but gifted team attempting to get hold of their plan. That’s factual esteem the Nuggets about a seasons in the past, after they went from a 33-take team in Malone’s first season to the Western Conference finals closing season.
“They had been affected person,” Bickerstaff said. “It’s definitely a blueprint, because I mediate they did an ideal job as an group.”
Malone said he used to be fortunate to catch the time to develop.
“There are steps you might possibly possibly possibly also unprejudiced have to rob,” Malone said. “As lengthy as possession, entrance region of commercial and the coach are all aligned in that, you might possibly possibly possibly also weather that storm, and be affected person.”
Cavaliers: At Portland on Friday. Their closing soak up Portland used to be Jan. 16, 2013.
Nuggets: Host Oklahoma Metropolis on Friday.
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