CLEVELAND — Juancho Hernangomez scored 23 points, Paul Millsap added 16 and the Denver Nuggets rolled past the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-91 on Thursday night.
The Nuggets won their third straight to improve to 7-1. On Wednesday night in Chicago, they beat the Bulls 108-107 in overtime on Millsap’s put-back with 0.1 seconds left.
Jordan Clarkson led Cleveland with 17 points, and Cedi Osman added 13. Collin Sexton, the No. 8 overall pick, had 12 points. The Cavaliers dropped to 1-7. They have split two games under “acting” coach Larry Drew.
Denver shot 6 for 17 in the first quarter and fell behind 29-17. After cutting it to 38-34, the Nuggets finished the second period on 16-4 run that included 13 straight points. Hernangomez had 12 points in the quarter, including three 3-pointers.
Denver led 50-42 at halftime and dominated the second half. The Nuggets’ biggest lead was 26 points at 106-76.
The Nuggets won going away despite an off-night from leading scorer Nikola Jokic, who had averaged 21.6 points. The 7-footer scored four points in 22 minutes and didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers had another busy day off the court. Drew said contract negotiations with the team are going in a positive direction. Drew replaced Tyronn Lue, who was fired Sunday, but wants the Cavs to restructure his contract if he’s going to become the team’s interim coach.
Guard J.R. Smith said he wants to be traded after being dropped from the rotation. The 15-year veteran has played in four of Cleveland’s eight games. A few fans began a “We want J.R.” chant as Denver built the lead in the second half.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Thursday that the Cavaliers have been awarded the 2022 NBA All-Star Game. The game will be a cornerstone event during the league’s 75th anniversary.
Nuggets: Jokic scored 22 points with 12 rebounds and nine assists against the Bulls. He was 2 for 5 from the field Thursday. … Denver was 12 for 22 from the field in the second quarter. … Assistant coach Mark Price is in his first season with the Denver. He spent the first nine seasons of his playing career with the Cavaliers and his No. 25 hangs in the rafters at Quicken Loans Arena.
Cavaliers: G Kyle Korver, a 16-year veteran, took a charging foul in the lane with Cleveland trailing 93-72 in the fourth quarter. … Cleveland was held to 15 points in the second quarter and was 5 for 22 from the field with five turnovers. … F Kevin Love missed his fourth straight game with a left foot injury and could be out for a significant amount of time.