Surging Nuggets open road trip against Cavs

The Denver Nuggets will go for nine wins in a row Saturday night when they embark on a four-game road trip, starting in Cleveland against the Cavaliers.

The Nuggets haven't played on the road since Jan. 23 and have only been away from home three times since the start of the new year. They are 2-1 in those three, but only 10-15 away from the Pepsi Center this season.

But this is not the old Nuggets team from the start of the campaign. They are 22-3 at home, where they've played 15 of their last 18 and have vaulted to fourth in Western Conference standings.

"A lot of teams get a lot of attention when they go on winning streaks," Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler said. "We go on a six-game or seven-game winning streak, we really don't get the credit for it. When we play against good teams, it's almost like trying to prove something."

Their most recent victory came against one of the NBA's best road teams, the Chicago Bulls. The Nuggets pasted the Bulls, 128-96, and handed Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau his worst loss with the club.

Denver distanced itself from Chicago with a 25-8 run in the first eight minutes of the third quarter. The Bulls never got closer than 18 from that point.

The Nuggets shot 58 percent from the field and 47 percent from the 3-point line. Kenneth Faried had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Ty Lawson registered a double-double with 16 points and 12 assists.

Chandler (24), Danilo Gallinari (15), Andre Iguodala (14) and JaVale McGee (10) also scored in double figures for the Nuggets.

Cleveland is 3-0 so far on a seven-game homestand and recorded a 119-108 victory over the struggling Orlando Magic Friday night. Kyrie Irving recorded 24 points, eight assists and six rebounds, while Marreese Speights scored 18 points off the bench for the Cavs, who are 9-13 as the host.

Tristan Thompson had 16 points in the win, Cleveland's sixth in eight tries.

"I think our guys are just starting to trust each other," said Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott. "I feel they bought in to what we've been trying to do from day one. Buying into trusting each other is a whole different story. Right now, they're just trusting each other out there on the floor. It's all about trying to get a victory."

The Cavs will also host Minnesota, San Antonio and New Orleans on the homestand.

The Nuggets, who will visit Boston, Toronto and Brooklyn on this trip, then come home to play the Celtics and go back out on the road to face Washington and Charlotte, won this season's only matchup with Cleveland on Jan. 11 (98-91).

Denver is 5-2 in its last seven trips to Cleveland.