Nuggets win ninth straight, beat Cavaliers 111-103

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm •  Published: February 9, 2013
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Denver coach George Karl thinks it's about time people started taking notice of his team.

Given the fact the Nuggets are the NBA's longest active winning streak, Karl has good reason to feel that way.

Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points, Kenneth Faried added 17 and Denver won their ninth straight game with a 111-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.

Although the Nuggets have the fourth-best record in the Western Conference, no Denver player was selected for next Sunday's All-Star Game, a fact Karl is quick to point out.

"We're going to try and shock the world and become the first team to win a championship without an All-Star," he said.

The Nuggets, who have won 15 of 17, are on their longest winning streak since posting 10 straight victories from March 30-April 15, 2005. San Antonio had an 11-game streak snapped Friday night.

Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 26 points, but was plagued by foul trouble. The All-Star guard picked up his fourth foul with 5:20 remaining in the third quarter and went to the bench with the Nuggets leading 72-61. Irving returned to start the fourth quarter with Denver ahead 84-73. He scored 12 points in the period, but Cleveland's rally fell short.

Irving was down on the court briefly after taking a knee to the thigh in the fourth quarter, but said following the game he was OK.

The loss ended Cleveland's three-game winning streak that matched a season high. The Cavaliers haven't won four games in a row since March 17-24, 2010, which was LeBron James' final season with the franchise.

"We ran into a team playing very good basketball," Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. "I'm not disappointed in our effort. Tonight, they were a better team."

Denver, which began a four-game road trip, is scheduled to play in Boston on Sunday. The Nuggets planned to fly into Boston following Saturday's game. The team reserved hotel rooms in Cleveland in case their plans were changed thanks to the massive snowstorm that hit the Northeast this weekend.

Denver showed its depth by placing eight players in double figures.

"There are only about 10 true superstars in the NBA, I think, but I believe Andre Iguodala, Ty Lawson, Andre Miller, and Kenneth Faried are in the next 40 players," Karl said.

Alonzo Gee scored 20 points for Cleveland with 16 coming in the first quarter.