Lillard Struggles Early, Blazers Comeback Falls Short at Denver 119-110
The Portland Trail Blazers hung around with the Denver Nuggets all night on Friday, but ultimately they lost.
Portland knew they’d be without Jusuf Nurkic (leg – out for the season) and CJ McCollum (knee), however they didn’t know Seth Curry would be a late scratch.
Curry was questionable this morning. Then, 45 minutes before tip-off the Blazers announced Curry would miss the Denver game with left tibia soreness.
Without McCollum AND Curry, the Blazers only made 10 threes, and shot 34.5 percent from deep.
Damian Lillard missed all six threes he took. In fact, he missed all his shots in the first quarter, but somehow Portland led by nine so it wasn’t all bad.
The Blazers were outscored in the second and fourth quarters by a combined 25 points. In contrast, Portland scored 16 more than Denver in the first and third quarters.
With Lillard’s offensive struggles, Enes Kanter led the team with 24 points. Six total Blazers scored in double figures, including Rodney Hood (17), Lillard (14) and Al-Farouq Aminu (12) from the starters. Reserves Jake Layman and Evan Turner each poured in 15 points.
Unfortunately, the Nuggets just abused the Portland defense on multiple occasions. Three Denver players scored over 20 points. Paul Millsap led the Nuggets with 25, Jamal Murray had 23 and Nikola Jokic scored 22 points. Torrey Craig gave Denver 18 off the bench.
Portland has just three games left. Sunday, the Blazers host same Denver Nuggets in the Moda Center. Then, Tuesday Portland travels to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers. Finally, the Blazers close the season at home against Sacramento on Wednesday.
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