Cavaliers Lose To The Nuggets 130-101: Game Recap 3/31/24

March 31, 2024

Andy Billman

Post-Game Recap

3 Notes Around the Loss

1 – Backcourt 

The Cavs’ starting backcourt had a dreadful day, as Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, and Max Strus combined for 27 points. Unlike the Cavs frontcourt, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen combined to score 42 points, even with one less player. Cleveland’s backcourt could never get into a groove on Sunday.   2 – Jokic

Nikola Jokic was unbelievable on Easter Sunday with a triple-double, scoring 26 points, 18 rebounds, and 16 assists. 

3 – March Madness

The Cleveland Cavs should be happy March is over, as they failed to win back-to-back victories in March.

Game Recap

Nikola Jokic recorded his 22nd triple-double of the season with 26 points, 18 rebounds, and 16 assists, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 130-101 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, breaking their two-game losing streak at home.

Despite nursing a sore right wrist that almost sidelined him in Friday’s game against Minnesota, Jokic managed to notch his 128th career triple-double.

While Denver’s Jamal Murray remained sidelined for the fifth consecutive game due to knee and ankle injuries, Coach Michael Malone noted Murray’s progress before the matchup.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope contributed a season-high 22 points, hitting 7-of-10 shots from beyond the arc. Reggie Jackson filled in admirably for the injured Murray, scoring 19 points, while Michael Porter Jr. also added 19 points for the Nuggets, who entered the game trailing Minnesota and Oklahoma City by just half a game for the top spot in the Western Conference with a record of 52-23.

For the Cavaliers, Evan Mobley led with 23 points, followed by Jarrett Allen with 19, but it wasn’t enough as Cleveland suffered their eighth loss in 12 games. With a record of 45-30, they maintained a slim half-game lead over New York for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Donovan Mitchell, in his second game back after missing six with a broken nose, scored 13 points for Cleveland but struggled from the field, shooting just 1 of 10 after making his first two shots.

Jokic sealed his triple-double with a lob pass to Aaron Gordon, extending Denver’s lead to 85-66 with 5:04 remaining in the third quarter.

Although narrowly missing a triple-double in the first half with 14 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, Jokic’s efforts combined with a strong performance from Christian Braun, who ignited a crucial run for Denver before halftime.

Braun’s steal and layup, followed by a corner 3-pointer assisted by Jokic, and a driving layup propelled the Nuggets to a 58-50 halftime lead.

Denver dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Cavaliers 36-21 to secure their convincing victory.

Up Next

Play at the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.

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