The Cleveland Cavaliers of Spanish Ricky Rubio they knew how to take advantage of the opportunity that some clumsy gave them Denver nuggets and beat Facundo Campazzo's team 87-99 in a match irregular marked by the confrontation between the Spanish and Argentine bases.
The incident between Rubio and Campazzo occurred in the third quarter when the Nuggets had reached a point behind the Cavs after placing a 9-2 run against Cleveland. When the Spanish point guard had the ball in his hands, Campazzo pounced and hit Rubio's right knee. blond He fell to the ground in pain and, when he got up, he faced Campazzo, who had not yet moved from the side of the El Masnou base. The two point guards hit head to head and exchanged words at the same time as they pushed each other with their bodies. When it seemed that the two were going to come to blows, the rest of the players and part of the technical team separated Rubio and Campazzo, who each received a technical foul.
In the end, the most affected by the spike between the two bases were the Nuggets, who lost momentum and went from 65-66 to 65-70 with 2 minutes remaining in the second quarter. Although before the end of the period they tied 70-70 after a 5-0 run. That was the end of the bellows for Campazzo's men.
Nuggets Serbian Nikola Jokic finished the game with his third double-double consecutive by scoring 24 points, 19 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, although he also lost 6 balls. Teammates Aaron Gordon and Will Barton followed on points, with 12 each. Campazzo was content with 3 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 turnover.
In the Cavs, Kevin Love stood out, with 22 points and 6 rebounds, and Jarret Allen, with a double-double of 21 points, 16 rebounds and 2 assists. Rubio scored 7 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 block and 2 turnovers.
The Cavs, who did not have a particularly good game and finished with 46.3% in shots from the field and only 28% in triples, took the game thanks to the 22 turnovers suffered by the Nuggets, which became 32 points for visitors. The Nuggets' numbers were bad. 40.7% from field shots and 23.7% from 3-pointers, 47 rebounds, two less than the Cavs. Denver's forced 16 turnovers on Cleveland's but only made 16 points from those opponent's mistakes.
The game started with the Cavs moving the ball better in attack, especially when Rubio was on the court. The Spanish point guard soon tuned in to Allen, as he demonstrated when he served the Cavs' tall man an alleyoop with three minutes remaining in the first quarter. Rubio and Allen would repeat the play in the third quarter, shortly before the incident with Campazzo. When the first 12 minutes ended, the Cavs were 5 points ahead on the scoreboard, 24-29.
In the second quarter, the effectiveness of the two teams dropped. Denver's men were the ones who stood out the best and scored 22 points to the Cavaliers' 21 in the fourth, which left the score at half-time at 46-50. On the way back, Denver's men returned to accumulate turnovers. But when it seemed that the local team began to focus, there was a clash between Rubio and Campazzo. The period ended with the Cavaliers 5 points up, 70-75.
But it was not the night of the team of Jokic and Campazzo. The Nuggets got to within three points as soon as the last quarter started, but it was all a mirage. Denver lost two balls, committed a personal offense and missed a shot, all consecutively in the space of less than two minutes. And the Cavs did not forgive. In two minutes of play they got to 10 points, 72-82, and the Nuggets were unable to recover.