Feb 9, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters (3) sits on the court in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cavaliers fall to Nuggets 111-103

To be blunt, the Cleveland Cavaliers game against the Denver Nuggets was one of the games where the Cavaliers left your pretty frustrated. Sure, Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, but he also was out of the game for long stretches due to foul trouble. Alonzo Gee scored 20 points in stellar performance, but 16 of those came in the first quarter. Lastly, Tristan Thompson got zero defense rebounds playing against Denver’s Kenneth Fareed. Ultimately, due to mistakes and simply being outclassed, the Cavaliers fell to the Nuggets 111-103. Irving lead the Cavaliers with 26 points, Danilo Gallinari lead Denver 19. Fareed chipped in 17 points to go along with seven rebounds.

The first quarter was the lone quarter that saw the Cavaliers have some success. Gee came out red hot, accounting for 50 percent of the Cavaliers 32 points. For the quarter, he was six for six from the field, including three for three behind the arc.  Sans Gee, Cleveland came out cold and looked out of sync. The Nuggets, on the other hand, came out aggressive, and setting the pace for the game. In the fist 1:30, Denver scored 8 points. Remarkably, the Cavaliers lead 32-30 at the end of one.

The second quarter is where the momentum change in favor of the Nuggets. With Luke Walton matched up with Fareed, the Nuggets were successful at getting the ball into the paint. To make matters worse, Irving picked up with third foul with over four minutes left in the quarter, causing Coach Byron Scott to sit his best player for the rest of the half. With the Nuggets scoring in the paint and with Irving out, the Nuggets surged to a 58-52 lead at the half. From there, Denver never looked back.

In the third, the Cavaliers struggles continued. Within a few minutes, the Nuggets lead was stretched from six to 11. In the quarter, Irving would pick up with fourth foul, Thompson continued to struggle on both ends, and Gee virtually disappeared. Throughout the whole quarter, Cleveland was unable to mount any meaningful offense. Entering the fourth, with Denver leading 84-73, the Cavaliers again unable to mount any comeback. Even entering the bonus with over five minutes to play, the teams traded baskets like they did all game. In the end, with Irving unable to create any fourth quarter magic and no one else stepping up the plate, the Cavaliers cruised to a lackluster defeat.

Post game, here some overall stats I found troublesome for Cleveland.

  1. As I mentioned, Thompson had zero defensive rebounds tonight. That is concerning considering the matchup with Fareed was a litmus test of sorts. The two are from the same draft class, and tonight showed that Fareed is currently a better player than Thompson.
  2. Marresse Speights was 1-10 from the floor tonight. He has been the spark plug off the bench of late, and without him having a good night, it was hard for the rest of bench to get things going.
  3. C.J. Miles was 1-5 from three tonight, which like Speights off night, did not bode well for the bench. I’d like to see him moved back into the starting lineup with Waiters going back to the sixth man role.
  4. The Nuggets scored 19 fast break points tonight, as compared to five for the Cavaliers. The Cavs have been a good team when they can run, but tonight showed they cannot run with the elite just yet.
  5. Denver scored 62 points in the paint tonight, as compared to the Cavaliers 32. To keep getting better, Cleveland is going to need to improve their interior defense.

The Cavaliers will next take the floor on Monday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Tip-off is at 7 PM, live from Quicken Loans Arena.

Cavs Tweets of the Night 




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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Denver Nuggets Kyrie Irving Tristan Thompson

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