Tue, 16 Oct 2018

Trail Blazers blow past Nuggets

Sports Xchange
14 Nov 2017, 15:38 GMT+10

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum scored 17 points apiece as the Portland Trail Blazers rolled to a 99-82 victory over the Denver Nuggets Monday night at Moda Center.

Damian Lillard chipped in 15 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals for the Trail Blazers (7-6), who led by as many as 23 points in the fourth quarter.

Paul Millsap and Jamal Murray paced the Nuggets (8-6), who had won seven of their previous nine games, with 18 points each.

The Blazers shot 52.1 percent from the field and 88.9 percent from the free-throw line while owning a 43-35 rebound advantage. Denver shot a season-low 35.7 percent from the field.

Portland shot 56.4 percent -- but made only 1 of 8 shots from 3-point range -- while building a 54-49 edge at the break.

The Blazers outscored the Nuggets 30-17 in the third quarter to hike their lead to 84-66 heading into the final period.

The lead grew to 93-70 midway through the fourth quarter, and soon the starters gave way to reserves.

Denver jumped out to a 12-5 lead in the game's first three minutes. Portland outscored the Nuggets 18-4 over the next five minutes to go in front 23-16.

The Blazers stoked the margin to 43-29 midway through the second quarter. The Nuggets rallied to within 50-47 late in the quarter. Portland took a five-point advantage into halftime.

NOTES: Portland rookie F Caleb Swanigan made his first start. He had six points and five rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter ... Portland C/F Meyers Leonard (ankle) was activated after missing the previous eight games. He did not see any action. ... Denver G Gary Harris (shoulder) did not play for the second straight game. ... The Blazers rank last in the NBA in fast-break points per game (4.6) and turnovers forced (13.4). Coach Terry Stotts said the latter affects the former, "but it's not just one thing. When we get defensive rebounds, how quickly do we outlet it? Do we make the pass ahead as much as we need to? Are the wings there to pass ahead to?" Portland finished with only four fast-break points Monday night.

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