The Cleveland Cavaliers earned perhaps their most impressive win of the 2023-24 regular season so far on Sunday. They beat the defending champion Denver Nuggets at home by 12 points to improve their home record to 3-3.
Cavaliers big man Jarrett Allen made his presence known against the Nuggets. In 29 minutes of play, he recorded 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and one steal. Plus, he shot 6-of-10 from the field and finished with a plus-minus of plus-42.
After a recent home game, Allen said that he believes the Cavaliers are “gonna have something special.”
“That’s the plan, the stuff doesn’t happen overnight for us,” Allen told HoopsHype when asked if the Cavs are ready to take the next step as a team. “We know that we have a long journey to get there, but we see the seeds being planted, we see our growth, we see that we’re gonna have something special here.”
For as well as Allen played against the Nuggets, point guard Darius Garland was arguably Cleveland’s top player in the win. He scored a team-high 26 points and shot 10-of-16 from the floor, including 2-of-4 from behind the 3-point arc. Garland also took five free throws on Sunday and knocked down four of them.
As per usual, Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic stuffed the stat sheet for his team. He racked up 18 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block. Michael Porter Jr. played well for the Nuggets too, seeing as how he scored a team-high 21 points while shooting 7-of-15 from the field and 5-of-9 from outside the 3-point arc.
After starting out the season with a poor 4-6 record, the Cavaliers have since won their last three games to get over .500 at 7-6. Cleveland’s three wins during its streak have come against the Portland Trail Blazers, Detroit Pistons and Nuggets.
The Cavaliers’ victory over the Pistons on Nov. 17 marked the team’s first In-Season Tournament win of the season. Cleveland lost its first In-Season Tournament game against the Indiana Pacers — who own a 7-5 record — by five points back on Nov. 3.
Cleveland will hope to earn its second In-Season Tournament win when they take on Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on the road on Tuesday. The 76ers own the second-best record in the Eastern Conference right now behind only the Boston Celtics.