CLEVELAND (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 23 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped the Denver Nuggets’ seven-game winning streak with a 98-88 victory Wednesday night.
Tristan Thompson had a career-high 21 rebounds and 17 points for the Cavaliers, who won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
The Nuggets, playing the third game of six-game road trip, lost for the first time since Nov. 18. The trip began with a 14-point win in Toronto on Sunday and a 24-point victory in Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Randy Foye led Denver with 16 points, while J.J. Hickson had 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Anderson Varejao scored a season-high 18 points and had 13 rebounds for Cleveland, which recorded its largest margin of victory this season.
Denver trailed by 12 points in the second quarter, but finished the first half on a 10-2 run and cut the lead to two early in the third period. The Nuggets got no closer, however, as the Cavaliers stretched the lead to double figures. The margin reached 13 points early in the fourth. Denver cut the lead to eight with just over a minute to play.
Andrew Bynum, coming off his best game of the season, had 14 points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes. The 7-footer had 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocked shots Saturday against Chicago in a 97-93 win.
Nate Robinson scored 14 points and Wilson Chandler added 13 for the Nuggets.
Denver got off to a slow start playing its third game in four nights. The Cavaliers led by seven points on several occasions in the first quarter and stretched the lead to 12 in the second. Cleveland led 54-42 with 1:51 remaining in the quarter, but Denver scored 10 of the half’s final 12 points, highlighted by Lawson’s three-point play, a 3-pointer by Foye and four points by Darrell Arthur.
Lawson’s basket accounted for his first points of the game. He came into Wednesday averaging a team-high 20.2 points, but finished with four points on 1-of-13 shooting.
Bynum was given a flagrant foul for hitting Hickson in the shoulder in the third quarter while the Denver forward was driving to the basket.
The Nuggets had won six of the previous seven meetings with the Cavaliers and three straight on the road.
Denver reserve center Timofey Mozgov had eight points and three rebounds in 17 minutes one night after grabbing a career-high 20 rebounds to go with 17 points against the Nets. He totaled 33 points and 35 rebounds against Brooklyn and Toronto.
NOTES: Thompson had nine rebounds in nine minutes in the first quarter. He had 11 points and 13 rebounds in the first half. … Robinson played despite re-injuring his right wrist Tuesday. X-rays after the game were negative. Robinson shot a free throw left-handed against the Nets. … Robinson was given a technical in the second quarter after a foul wasn’t called when he was knocked to the floor while taking a shot. … Nuggets G Andre Miller was hit with a technical in the third quarter. … Cleveland G Dion Waiters, who had scored at least 20 points in each of his last three games, had five points and six assists. … Denver’s road trip continues against Boston on Friday.
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