Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Cavs top Nuggets in OT, end Denver’s road win streak

CLEVELAND (AP) – Lauri Markkanen made the go-ahead three-pointer with 29 seconds left in overtime and scored a season-high 31 points, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 119-116 victory over Denver early yesterday that snapped the Nuggets’ franchise-record road winning streak at seven.

Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic scored in the paint to cut Cleveland’s lead to 117-116 with 25 seconds remaining, but rookie Evan Mobley dunked over Aaron Gordon to restore the Cavaliers’ three-point advantage. Bones Hyland missed a three-pointer as time expired, completing Cleveland’s comeback from 14 down in the fourth quarter.

Mobley scored nine of his 27 points in OT and had 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who moved one game in front of Toronto for sixth place in the East. All-Star Darius Garland had 25 points and 14 assists, and Markkanen added 10 rebounds and four steals.

Jokic had 32 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, but committed a turnover and missed a shot in the final 1:40 of the extra period. Denver, which has won 12 of its last 16 overall, lost on the road for the first time since February 11 at Boston.

The Nuggets held the largest lead of the night at 92-78 with 10:29 left in the fourth quarter, but Cleveland outscored them 29-15 in the rest of regulation. Jokic’s driving layup with 44 seconds left sent the game to OT tied it at 107.

Rookie Hyland had 17 points and seven assists off the bench, Gordon scored 20 points, and DeMarcus Cousins added 12 points and eight rebounds.