Nuggets set to visit simmering Cavaliers

Twenty-nine NBA teams think throwing soup is hilarious.

The Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t laughing, though.

“I’m just happy that nobody threw any soup at me,” Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone joked Friday, following a team dinner Thursday, according to the Denver Post.

The Cavs (36-25) host the Nuggets on Saturday in what will be JR Smith’s first game since being suspended for throwing soup at Cleveland assistant coach Damon Jones after shootaround on Thursday.

The team gathered for dinner Thursday to set the tone for this current three-game trip. According to the Denver Post, the Nuggets shared fried catfish, ribs and other Southern cuisine.

The Southern cooking did them well. Paul Millsap, in his second game back after missing three months with wrist surgery, made his first start and finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Gary Harris led the Nuggets with 26 points and Will Barton added 24 points off the bench.

“If we go into every game thinking every play is life and death, we’re gonna be so (darn) nervous and tight,” Malone said, according to the Post. “We don’t play well when we’re like that. Nobody does.”

The Cavs are still missing All-Star center Kevin Love, who broke a bone in his left hand on Jan. 29. He was said at the time to be out for eight weeks.

Love is back on the court beginning shooting drills, and he’s hopeful to return before the week of March 26 (the original target for return).

“If I can get back before eight weeks, great, so I’m hoping that that is the case,” Love said. “One of the things I can do now is kind of catch the ball, guide it and shoot it within 12-15 feet, so that feels good to do something other than run on the treadmill or run on the bike. So it’s nice.”

Harrison Barnes scored 26 points for the Mavericks, who beat the Thunder in the Western Conference finals in 2011 before getting swept in the first round by them as defending champions a year later.

“People look at their record and think they aren’t a very good team,” Oklahoma City Basketball Jerseys coach Billy Donovan said. “They are a good basketball team. They Cheap Authentic Baseball Jerseys have not been able to close out some games.”

Dallas had a chance to win in overtime on an inbound play with 6 seconds left, but could only get a desperation jumper at the buzzer from rookie Dennis Smith Jr., who scored the first eight Dallas points in the extra period and finished with 17.

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