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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Denver Nuggets player grades

The Cavs defense bled points against Denver.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the player grades from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 126-117 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Larry Nance Jr.: A

The one player that wasn’t a liability on defense, Nance was electric once again. His dunk over Mason Plumlee at least provided some entertainment on a frustrating night.

Cedi Osman: A

The Nuggets went at Osman often to start the game, but those possessions weren’t particularly fruitful. While he didn’t play great defense, the effort was there. Plus, his 6-7 shooting was a pleasant surprise.

Jordan Clarkson: B+

Clarkson breathed life into the Cavs tonight, and probably should have been rewarded with more minutes. J.R. Smith’s hot shooting in the second half may have kept him on the bench, but his overall impact still was far greater than Smith on the night.

LeBron James: B

Yes, LeBron had a triple-double highlighted by his 15 assists. But he was caught sleepwalking on both ends often in the first half and was lackluster offensively. He needed to be better than he was if the team was going to keep up to the Nuggets.

George Hill: B

Solid game from Hill overall, as he forced the Nuggets guards to hit tough shots at times. But while the contest was there, he could have done a better job disrupting their rhythm and not allowing Gary Harris and Jamal Murray to move around comfortably without the ball.

J.R. Smith: C+

Smith hit a lot of shots in the second half, but he continued to heat check even as he was clearly exhausted. His first half was horrible on both ends, and his defense didn’t improve much after his shots started falling.

Rodney Hood: C

Hitting just a couple of the open shots he received could have made a big difference in this game.

Tristan Thompson: C

Thompson showed life in the second half, but looked clumsy for most of the game. He tried to do too much on offense at times and struggled defensively. When Paul Millsap is easily getting by Tristan, you know he’s not the same player he used to be.

Kyle Korver: D

I almost forgot Korver played tonight. Seven minutes, two missed field goals, no stats.