Cavs aim to stay on track versus Nuggets

(SportsNetwork.com) - All is well in Cleveland once again.

The Cavaliers have won four in a row and they'll put that winning streak on the line Monday night when the lowly Denver Nuggets pay a visit to Quicken Loans Arena.

After beginning the season, 1-3, the Cavs halted league-wide panic with this impressive run. They closed a western trip with a win over these Nuggets, then toppled the New Orleans Pelicans, Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks.

Against the Hawks on Saturday night at home, the Cavs jumped on them early, taking the first quarter, 41-25. They rolled from that point, finishing with 101 points through three and winning, 127-94.

"I thought our good offense, and at times great offense, was a direct result of the defensive side of the ball," said Cavs coach David Blatt. "We really came out energized. Our crowd was great again."

LeBron James scored 18 of his 32 points in the first half to lead the Cavaliers' offensive onslaught. James, who also dished out seven assists with six rebounds, went 13-of-20 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Kyrie Irving deposited 20 points with five assists, Tristan Thompson netted 15 points and Kevin Love posted 13 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Cleveland went 9-for-9 from 3-point range over the first 12 minutes, then Irving added to that flawless mark by making the first two attempts from deep in the second before the first miss. No team in NBA history had ever made nine or more 3-pointers in a quarter without a miss.

Cleveland also set a franchise record with 19 3-pointers made.

The Cavs close their homestand with a date against the defending champion San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. They'll visit the Washington Wizards on Friday, then play five in a row at the Q.

The Nuggets complete a three-game eastern trip in Cleveland, a trip that began with promise. Denver knocked off the Indiana Pacers Friday, then fell in Madison Square Garden, 109-93, Sunday afternoon.

The Nuggets helped end a seven-game losing streak for the Knicks.

New York outscored Denver by a 31-8 margin in the second stanza. The home team went 12-of-22 from the field in the period, while holding the Nuggets to 1- of-16 shooting.

"In the second quarter we were tentative offensively and we had a long drought with no penetration, turnovers missed free throws and they slowly continued to score," said Nuggets coach Brian Shaw.

Arron Afflalo ended with 18 points for the Nuggets, while Ty Lawson had 17 points and nine assists. Kenneth Faried chipped in 16, followed by 11 from Wilson Chandler.

Darrell Arthur rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10.

Guard Randy Foye missed the game with a knee injury and is his availability for Monday is unknown.

The Cavs beat Denver at the Pepsi Center on Nov. 7 and have taken three in a row in this series. The Nuggets are 7-3 in their last 10 at Quicken Loans Arena.