The Denver Nuggets have lost two straight games overall and five straight road games heading into Friday’s game against host Cleveland Cavaliers.
Friday’s tilt came after some classy NBA footwork. The league shuffled this game, initially scheduled for the second half of the season, to Friday to replace Denver’s game against Charlotte. That contest was postponed Tuesday due to additional contact tracing on the Hornets’ roster.
Returning to the Nuggets, they began what became a three-game winning streak with a decisive 133-95 victory over Cleveland on February 10. The tables have turned, however, as Denver suffered losses in both Boston and Washington to start its four games. -game tour.
Nikola Jokic is not to blame for the Nuggets’ recent woes, as he followed up his 43-point performance in a 112-99 loss to the Celtics on Tuesday with 33 more the following night in a 130-128 loss to the Wizards. . Jokic, in fact, scored 15 points in the first quarter to put Denver to a 41-21 lead over Washington.
“We were up to 20. We didn’t play any defense. We can’t have that many casualties,” said Jokic, who averages the team’s leading total in points (27.4), rebounds (11.1) and assists (8.6).
Jamal Murray scored 25 points against Boston and highlighted his 35-point performance against the Wizards with a triple from the edge of the half-court logo with 2.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The long-range bucket forged a tie before Bradley made two free kicks with one tenth of a second left.
“I would sum it up by saying you have to play 48 minutes,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone. “… The guys are (mad). We obviously came on this trip trying to build on the three-win streak that we had.”
Malone said he’s unsure about the expected length of absence for Paul Millsap (10.4 points, 5.2 rebounds), who has missed the last two games with a left knee injury. He made 7 of 8 shots for 22 points, the team leader, in Denver’s fight over Cleveland last week.
Jokic racked up 12 points and 12 assists and Murray had eight points in that win against the Cavaliers, who have seen the bottom drop after a somewhat promising start to the season.
Cleveland has lost eight in a row, its best record of the season, and seven of those setbacks came by 17 points or more. The Cavaliers followed up their 38-point loss to Denver with a 19-point rout at Portland, a 17-point setback against the Los Angeles Clippers and a 31-point win at Golden State.
“You have to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself and see areas that you can improve,” Cleveland coach JB Bickerstaff said after Monday’s 129-98 loss to the Warriors. “And we have room to grow.”
Jarrett Allen had 18 points and 10 rebounds in the previous meeting with the Nuggets and had 13 and 14, respectively, against Golden State. The season-long acquisition is seeing extended playing time, as the Cavaliers seat center Andre Drummond as a means of maintaining his business value before the March 25 deadline.
Kevin Love, a five-time All-Star, returned to practice Wednesday after being sidelined with a calf strain he initially suffered in the Cavaliers’ preseason opener on Dec. 12. a more likely option.
–Field level media
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.