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Recap: Turnovers plague Denver as Cavaliers hand them their first loss 99-87

Well, tonight proved to be a trap game for Denver. They could not take care of the basketball or make enough open shots. On to the next one.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Denver Nuggets Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

If you were looking for a scapegoat in this game it was Denver’s frequent turnovers and their horrific three-point shooting. The score was close for the majority of the game but Denver continued to struggle in the same ways and finally, Cleveland capitalized on their mistakes to win in blowout fashion. This game was not lost because of a lack of energy, rather a lack of focus.

The Nuggets committed a total of 22 turnovers and shot 9-38 from three which were things they just could not conquer tonight. As for Cavs, Kevin Love showed why he still has value in this league dropping a team-high 22 points, and rookie Evan Mobley showed up big in the 4th quarter with multiple offensive rebounds. The Nuggets will look to regain their winnings ways tomorrow when they face the Jazz in Utah at 8:00 PM MT.

1st Quarter

  • Aaron Gordon began the game efficiently shooting 2-3 with 5 early points
  • Denver missed easy inside shots and also gave up effortless inside baskets
  • Cavs jumped out to 22-15 off an 11-2 run, 14 of their first 24 points were scored in the paint
  • Nuggets looked very sloppy, playing too fast and out of control. They committed 5 turnovers in the quarter
  • Facu no-look pass to Jeff Green ignited energy in the offense as they climbed back to decrease lead to just two

Scoring leaders: Love - 9, Jokic - 7

Score: 29-24 Cavs

2nd Quarter

  • Facu single-handedly carried the team back into the game by controlling the offense and bringing intensity to the defensive end
  • Bones hit his first two buckets of his regular-season career. One a very nice pull-up from mid-range and the other a catch and shoot three
  • The bench really brought the defense back into this game forcing three straight turnovers, it was by far their best stint of the season
  • Nuggets could not get any threes to fall, 3-19 from three to that point
  • Cavs stretched their lead back to ten as Denver’s starters continued to struggle on both ends of the floor
  • Jokic six points in 30 seconds diminished halftime lead down to four

Scoring leaders: Jokic - 15, Love - 14

Score: 50-46 Cavs

3rd Quarter

  • Absolutely no energy and focus to Denver’s passes early in the quarter, Jokic tallying 5 turnovers already
  • Denver’s offense continued to look out of control, undisciplined yet their defense kept them in this game
  • It seemed like the Nuggets couldn't make a shot but they went on a 10-2 scoring run thanks to great contests at the rim and perimeter
  • Will Barton’s three-ball wasn’t connecting but I thought he played a well-balanced game. He is looking as healthy as he has been in years
  • Nuggets continued to play with good energy but it was sloppy energy. They would get an offensive rebound and then lose it. They would play great defense for twenty seconds and then lose the rebound and give up some second-chance points
  • The highlight of the quarter may have been Facu and Ricky Rubio getting into an altercation. The crowd absolutely erupted for the rest of the game since that possession

Scoring leaders: Jokic - 22, Love - 20

Score: 75-70 Cavs

4th Quarter

  • Denver’s corner defenders kept ball watching and losing sight of their man cutting or standing out on the perimeter
  • Cavs increased their lead to 16 as Sexton and Mobley started to heat up
  • It seemed like the Nuggets could not make a basket but nearly every time they did, the Cavaliers would respond with a gut punch
  • Denver turnovers really plagued them in this game, 22 turnovers total
  • The Nuggets kept trying to facilitate some momentum by hitting three-pointers but they couldn’t throw a pea in the ocean all game, shot 9-38 from three
  • Cavs sealed this game by forcing even more turnovers and creating offensive rebounds
  • Cleveland outscored Denver 24-17 in the fourth quarter

Scoring leaders: Jokic - 24, Love - 22

Score: 99-87