CLEVELAND (AP) – Ty Lawson scored 24 points and Arron Afflalo added 23 as the struggling Denver Nuggets ended Cleveland’s four-game winning streak with a 106-97 victory over the Cavaliers on Monday.
Denver took the lead for good early in the third quarter and was up by as many as 14 midway through the fourth.
LeBron James, who missed the morning shoot-around because of a cold, led Cleveland with 22 points. The Nuggets limped into the game having lost seven of eight and were coming off Sunday’s defeat at New York in which they made one field goal in the second quarter.
Denver looked like a different team Monday, placing five players in double figures.
Timofey Mozgov had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Denver.
Mike Conley scored 19 points as the Memphis Grizzlies easily defeated the Houston Rockets 119-93 in a matchup of the teams with the NBA’s two best records.
Whatever showdown was expected from two 9-1 teams and among the best defensive squads in the league never materialized as the Grizzlies took a 16-point lead in the first quarter and extended it in each of the remaining periods, until it reached 36 points in the fourth frame.
Seven players finished in double figures for Memphis, which won its fourth straight overall. Courtney Lee had 15 points, and Zach Randolph added 14.
San Antonio’s Matt Bonner had 18 points as the Spurs handed Philadelphia its 10th straight loss, 100-75, to open the season.
Tim Duncan had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard had five points and 11 rebounds in limited action. Cory Joseph added 14 points for the defending NBA champions, who never trailed.
Duncan played 16 minutes and Tony Parker 18. Both sat out the entire fourth quarter after playing just 5 minutes in the third.
The Dallas Mavericks downed the Charlotte Hornets 107-80 for its fourth straight victory after Monta Ellis scored 18 points and Chandler Parsons had 17.
Dirk Nowitzki had 13 points to become the fourth player in NBA history to eclipse 27,000 with one franchise, joining a prestigious group that includes current Hornets owner Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant.