CLEVELAND (AP) — Lauri Markkanen made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 29 seconds left in overtime and scored a season-high 31 points, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 119-116 victory over Denver on Friday night that snapped the Nuggets’ franchise-record road winning streak at seven.
Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic scored in the paint to cut Cleveland’s lead to 117-116 with 25 seconds remaining, but rookie Evan Mobley dunked over Aaron Gordon to restore the Cavaliers’ three-point advantage. Bones Hyland missed a 3-pointer as time expired.
Mobley scored nine of his 27 points in OT and had 11 rebounds for Cleveland. All-Star Darius Garland had 25 points and 14 assists, and Markkanen added 10 rebounds and four steals.
Jokic had 32 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, but committed a turnover and missed a shot in the final 1:40 of the extra period. Denver lost on the road for the first time since Feb. 11 at Boston.
The Nuggets led by 14 points with 10:29 left in the fourth quarter. Aaron Gordon had 20 points and rookie Hyland had 17 points and seven assists off the bench.
A DeMarcus Cousins hoop gave Denver the largest lead of the evening at 92-78, but Cleveland responded with a 24-8 run to go up 102-100 on Garland’s floater. Jokic’s driving layup with 44 seconds left sent the game to OT tied at 107-107.
LONG ROAD BACK
Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (left knee surgery), who has not played this season, spent two days practicing with their G League affiliate in Grand Rapids this week. It was his first five-on-five action since tearing his left ACL last April 12 at Golden State. “That was a huge step for Jamal, but he still has a lot of work to do,” coach Michael Malone said.
Fellow maximum-contract signee Michael Porter Jr. (lumbar spine surgery) has been sidelined since Nov. 8, but agent Mark Bartelstein said he could return before April. “There are always leaks from agents, sources and unnamed sources,” Malone cautioned. “I will say there is no immediate return timeline on either player.”
Nuggets: F Vlatko Cancar (right foot surgery) and F Zeke Nnaji (bilateral knee soreness) were inactive. Nnaji has missed 10 total games with the injury since Feb. 24.
Cavaliers: F Lamar Stevens made his third straight start, giving Cleveland two athletic swingmen in the lineup. “The combination of Lamar and Isaac (Okoro) gives us an edge defensively,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. … G Rajon Rondo (right ankle sprain) last played on March 12 in Chicago. “He’s doing more and more, and progressing well,” Bickerstaff said.
Nuggets: Host Boston on Sunday night.
Cavaliers: Host Detroit on Saturday night.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports