Denver Nuggets Fall to Cavaliers, 93-87


The Denver Nuggets lost to LeBron James and company tonight by a score of 93-87, despite Will Barton‘s strong performance.

The Denver Nuggets entered tonight’s contest short staffed, with Danilo Gallinari and Emmanuel Mudiay out due to injuries. On the other side of the ball, the Cleveland Cavaliers were without star point guard Kyrie Irving. The Cavaliers decided to give Irving some rest coming off of a string of games played, giving Matthew Dellavedova the start at point guard.

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Despite not having Kyrie Irving in the lineup, the Cleveland Cavaliers did not miss a beat, showing their strong presence on the court throughout the game. LeBron James led the Cavaliers with a game-high 34 points against the Denver Nuggets; however, Will Barton had a strong showing, posting 29 points and seven rebounds.

In addition to Barton, Nikola Jokic showed glimpses of excellence in the low-post game. Jokic finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in limited minutes, but he continues to show why he should be considered for a starting gig for the Denver Nuggets. However, with Jusuf Nurkic close to returning to the court, Jokic’s chances to enter the starting lineup might be dwindling by the days. 

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Joffrey Lauvergne played well in tonight’s contest against the Cavaliers, finishing with 14 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, but he finished with a team-worst +/- of -15. Kenneth Faried remained relatively quiet on the night, but he helped the Denver Nuggets hold Kevin Love to just eight points (and 14 rebounds). Love struggled to shoot the ball for the duration of the game, failing to reach double digit scoring.

If it were not for Will Barton’s strong performance, the Denver Nuggets faced a potential blowout, as they looked overmatched from the get-go. With the loss, the Denver Nuggets have dropped six out of their last seven games, and their schedule does not get easier over the next few games. The Denver Nuggets continue their plunge in the Western Conference standings, but once they reach full health, a resurgence is fully possible.

The Denver Nuggets hit the road for two games, facing the Portland Trailblazers and reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. The Denver Nuggets do not expect Gallinari or Mudiay back anytime soon, with Gallinari slated to return in January, so they may find wins hard to come by in the short-term. Jameer Nelson and Gary Harris figure to continue to earn starts for the Denver Nuggets over the next few games.

Next: Jusuf Nurkic: Nuggets' Center May Make Season Debut on Saturday

Look for the Denver Nuggets to stop their current three-game losing streak in the upcoming games. With the loss, the Denver Nuggets fall to 12-20 on the season and are currently in 11th place in the Western Conference (half-game ahead of Suns).