Cleveland, Ohio: Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points and the Denver Nuggets stretched their NBA win streak to nine games with a 111-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
The Italian playmaker, who also grabbed nine rebounds, led eight double-figure scorers among the nine players who took the court for the Nuggets, who improved to 33-18 to remain fourth in the Western Conference.
Kenneth Faried added 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Andre Iguodala added 14 points and seven assists for the Nuggets, who stayed poised to hold off a Cavaliers rally in the final minutes.
“Very important for us,” Faried said. “People say we’re not going to have that focus and same energy on the road that we have had winning at home. Tonight we proved that wrong.”
JaVale McGee added 13 points off the bench for Denver, while Ty Lawson contributed 11 points and Kosta Koufos, Andre Miller and Corey Brewer each added 10 points for the Nuggets.
Kyrie Irving scored 26 points and Alonzo Gee added 20 for the Cavaliers, who fell to 16-35 and saw a three-game winning streak come to an end.
A Cleveland team that gave away only 12 turnovers in their past two games turned the ball over just as many times in only the first three quarters against Denver as the Nuggets led 84-73 entering the fourth quarter.
A Gallinari three-pointer put Denver ahead 105-93 but Irving answered with back-to-back baskets and reserve Wayne Ellington made two free throws to pull the Cavaliers within 105-99.
Gallinari answered with two free throws after being fouled on an inside shot and Faried followed with a slam dunk to put Cleveland back in a 10-point hole. Irving scored twice late, netting 12 points in the fourth period, but it was too little and too late.