Cavaliers come back from deficit to beat Nuggets in overtime, 119-116; Markkanen, Mobley and Garland lead way

The Cavaliers have a way of when things aren’t going away, they just hang around long enough to comeback and take the game.

As was the case Friday night against Western Conference foe Denver.

J.B. Bickerstaff’s young squad simply refused to go away during the course of the game – rallying past Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, 119-116, in a Friday night overtime thriller.

Denver kept the Cavs at arms from the second quarter on – leading by double-digits for most of the evening and by two touchdowns early in the fourth quarter – when the Wine and Gold began chipping away at the lead.

Lauri Markkanen’s three-pointer with 5:00 to play tied the game at 100-apiece and both teams were locked up at 106 at the end of regulation. Denver took an early five-point edge in overtime, but behind outstanding rookie Evan Mobley, Cleveland proceeded to close the game on a 10-2 run to seal the deal on Friday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

After not playing an overtime game all season, the Wine and Gold won their second in five days. The victory also sealed the season sweep over Denver and marked the Wine and Gold’s 40th win of the season. With their next victory, the Cavs will equal their victory total from the last two seasons combined.

Still playing without Jarrett Allen as he nurses a fractured finger on his left hand, there was no shortage of heroes for the Cavaliers – who won for the 17th time in their last 22 home outings – on Friday night.

Markkanen was excellent on both ends – erupting for a season-high 31 points, going 11-for-18 from the floor, including 6-of-12 from long-range, adding 10 boards, three assists and a game-high four steals.

Evan Mobley continued to cement his case for Rookie of the Year on Friday night – doubling-up for the fourth time this month and 19th time this season, finishing with 27 points on 11-of-22 shooting adding a game-high 11 rebounds, a steal and pair of blocked shots.

The rookie from USC scored nine of Cleveland’s 12 points in overtime – going 4-of-5 from the floor in the extra-session.

All-Star guard Darius Garland has posted six double-doubles already this month, including Friday night’s 25-point, 14-assist effort – going 9-for-20 from the floor and 2-of-4 from deep while committing just two miscues in 45 minutes of work.

Nikola Jokic led six Nuggets in double-figures with 32 points, going 15-for-24 from the floor, also leading Denver with 10 boards and eight assists.


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