If Nance continues to play the way he did Monday, head coach Tyronn Lue might have a hard time turning the starting role back to Thompson when he is healthy. And he shined insane bright, with career highs 22 points and 15 rebounds, shooting 9-of-15 from the field.Nance has been brilliant since he was traded to Cleveland by the Lakers on February 8.
LeBron James leads in four statistical categories: points (26.7), rebounds (9.4), assists (9.1), steals (1.5) and blocks (0.9).
The Cavs snapped a two-game slide and finished their season's longest homestand with a 2-3 mark.
Thompson scored 12 points and had seven rebounds in 28 minutes against the Nuggets. With Thompson out, the Cavs are not missing both of their frontcourt starters as Kevin Love is still out injured [VIDEO] as well.
Cleveland leads the season series 2-1.
After being acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers on February 8, Nance Jr. was kept with the Cavaliers' second lineup while learning the offensive and defensive sets. The Cavaliers scored eight of the last 10 points in the quarter.
Cleveland outscored Detroit 58-41 after halftime. James made his first four shots (three of them 3s) and erupted for 15 points in the quarter. If he needs to provide 60-plus points of offense every game when factoring points and assists, then the Cavaliers have to make sure it accounts for less than 50 percent of their offense because it seems like they need at least 120 points to win. His 6.3 points are a career low and his 6.5 boards tie his career low.
Since the first time he stepped on the court wearing a Cleveland uniform, Nance has given the Cavs the brand of rugged, determined interior play they used to get from Tristan Thompson before injuries began to erode his effectiveness late last season.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Nance and his father, Larry Nance Sr., are only the fifth father-son duo in National Basketball Association history to score 20 points in a game for the same team. They are 2-8 in their past 10 games and are sliding further out of playoff contention. He was actually heading up recently, with three straight double-digit rebound games before the Nuggets loss. He also contributed seven boards and seven assists in the win.
Jordan Clarkson and Kyle Korver tallied 11 points apiece - each player (plus Ante Zizic, in his longest run of the season) finishing with six rebounds off the bench.