Powered by LeBron James’ 41st career triple-double Monday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers spanked the visiting Denver Nuggets 124-91.
LBJ finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, helping the Cavs wash the bad taste out their mouths following an embarrassing road loss to the Miami Heat last weekend.
J.R. Smith added 15 points for Cleveland, and newcomer Channing Frye scored 14.
Per the AP:
“It was in the back of our minds, for sure,” James said of the 122-101 drubbing against his former team. “You just can’t erase a performance like that. No matter if it was our fifth game in seven nights, we just didn’t bring it the way we should and tonight we responded very well.”
Will Barton scored 27 for the Nuggets, who concluded a 1-4 road trip. Denver’s Kenneth Faried missed his third straight game with a sore lower back.
“It was embarrassing,” Malone said. “An embarrassing effort. A very good team, obviously, a team that went to the finals, but I thought in the second half we quit. I haven’t seen that from our team most of the year. I’m very disappointed with that. I did not like our effort, out focus, our intensity and our fight for 48 minutes.”