This was supposed to be the easy month, wasn't it? It's when the Nuggets were going to settle in at home, ready to rise up the Northwest Division standings with 12-of-15 January games at the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets had played the part, winning three in a row and four of five at home with the gimme showing up Friday night in the form of the injury-plagued Cleveland Cavaliers, sporting the second-worst record in the NBA.

Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers' dynamic point guard, was sick. It couldn't be set up better without a George Karl script.

Irving practically rolled out of bed to score 28 points. But, as it turned out, the Nuggets felt right at home after all. Danilo Gallinari scored 23 points to lead a gritty Denver comeback to survive 98-91.