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Published: Thursday, 3/8/2012

Jamison, Irving push Cavaliers past Nuggets

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) is fouled by Denver Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo (6) and Ty Lawson (3) during the second quarter in Denver Wednesday. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) is fouled by Denver Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo (6) and Ty Lawson (3) during the second quarter in Denver Wednesday.
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DENVER — Kyrie Irving hit a driving layup with four seconds left to cap a seesaw battle in the final minutes and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Denver Nuggets 100-99 on Wednesday night.

Irving scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, all in the last 2:36 of the game, and Antawn Jamison had 33 to help the Cavaliers snap a six-game skid.

Al Harrington had 22 points and Andre Miller 16 for the Nuggets, whose four-game win streak ended.

Neither team could pull away in the fourth quarter. Denver scored the first six points to go ahead 78-76 and the lead changed hands nine times in the final 2:36, with the point guards staging a personal duel down the stretch.

Ty Lawson had five of his 18 points to give Denver a 95-94 lead and Irving had two three-point plays and a driving layup to put Cleveland up 98-97 with 24 seconds left.

He saved his best for the final seconds.

After Nene muscled in a layup over rookie Tristan Thompson with 15 seconds left to give Denver a 99-98 lead, Irving took the inbounds pass in the backcourt, raced up the floor into the lane and made the go-ahead basket. After a timeout, Lawson got the ball and drove the lane but missed a layup at the buzzer.

The game was tied in the third quarter before Alonzo Gee scored the next seven points to give Cleveland a 72-65 edge. The Cavs led by four heading into the fourth after Daniel Gibson’s 3-pointer was ruled after the horn.

Gee finished with 19.

Jamison was the biggest reason for Cleveland leading 57-55 at the break. The forward scored 14 in the first quarter to keep the Cavaliers close, then had 12 more in the second when they overcame a nine-point deficit.

Trailing 41-32, Jamison hit two jumpers and a pair of free throws to get the margin to 45-42 midway through the second. Gee tied it with a layup, Anthony Parker hit a 3 and Jamison scored four more points during a 23-8 run that gave Cleveland a 55-49 lead.

Harrington had 12 points off the bench to lead Denver in the first half.

Notes: NBA Commissioner David Stern attended the game. Stern, who is in Colorado for a ski vacation, spoke informally with the media before the game. He said the trade last season that sent Carmelo Anthony from Denver to New York has been good for both teams. ... Nuggets G Rudy Fernandez (lower back strain) missed his ninth straight game and F Kosta Koufas (strained left knee) missed his third in a row.



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