basketball | nba

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets Pick & Prediction FEB 23TH 2021

FinishedTV: TNT | Altitude SportsPepsi Center Denver

230.5o -105
-6 -104
1 2 3 4
25 32 21 28
34 23 21 33

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Portland vs. Denver Recap FEB 23TH 2021

Damian Lillard recorded 45 points and 12 assists and matched his career high of 11 3-point baskets to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 125-115 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night near Orlando.

Gary Trent Jr. added 27 points and matched his career best of seven 3-pointers as Portland (32-38) moved within a half-game of the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference playoff derby.

Jusuf Nurkic scored 22 points, and CJ McCollum added 13 for the Trail Blazers, who were 23 of 39 from 3-point range and shot 46.7 percent overall. The victory was only Portland's second in the last 11 meetings with Denver.

Michael Porter Jr. registered 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Jerami Grant scored 18 points for the Nuggets (45-24). Torrey Craig, PJ Dozier and Mason Plumlee scored 13 points apiece, and Monte Morris had 11.

Denver star Nikola Jokic had 13 assists but scored only eight points. The Nuggets shot 52.4 percent from the field and were 14 of 28 from 3-point range.

Denver played without starting guards Jamal Murray (hamstring) and Gary Harris (hip) and starting small forward Will Barton (knee) for the fourth straight game. Mike Malone sat most of his starters other than Porter down the stretch.

Harris' defense was missed, as Lillard (11 of 18) and Trent (7 of 10) were a combined 18 of 28 from behind the arc.

The Nuggets crept within 80-75 on Craig's 3-pointer with 4:19 left in the third quarter. Lillard responded with a four-point play and a 3-pointer to move the advantage right back to 12.

Denver answered with a 12-2 surge to move within two points, but Trent knocked down a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left as Portland took a 92-87 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Nuggets moved ahead 93-92 on Porter's three-point play 63 seconds into the final stanza. Trent's 3-pointer 17 seconds later put the Trail Blazers back ahead.

Later, Porter connected on a 3-pointer, and Dozier added a hoop to give Denver a 106-105 edge with 5:38 left.

But Lillard canned his 11th 3-pointer with 4:47 left to give Portland a 110-106 advantage.

After Dozier scored to bring the Nuggets within two, the Trail Blazers ripped off eight straight. Trent's sixth 3-pointer culminated the push and gave Portland a 118-108 lead with three minutes left.

Trent's seventh 3-pointer made it 121-112 with 1:26 remaining as the Trail Blazers closed it out.

Lillard (20 points) and Trent (15) had hot shooting touches in the first half as Portland took a 62-49 lead into the break.

--Field Level Media

Nikola Jokic scored 41 points, Jamal Murray had 19 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 111-106 on Tuesday night.

Michael Porter Jr. had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Zeke Nnaji scored 10 for Denver.

Damian Lillard had 25 points and 13 assists, Enes Kanter finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds, Carmelo Anthony had 24 points and Gary Trent Jr. and Derrick Jones Jr. scored 18 each for the Trail Blazers.

Portland led most of the third quarter but Jokic did his best to keep the Nuggets close. Down six he hit a jumper and a 3-pointer, and after Jones completed a three-point play Monte Morris tied it with another 3-pointer.

Lillard's 27-footer put the Blazers ahead 78-73 but Jokic hit short jumper in the lane and Nnaji drained a corner 3-pointer to tie it heading into the fourth.

Murray, who seemed bothered by a sore shoulder in the second half, missed seven of his eight shots through the first 36 minutes but started to find his stroke in the fourth. His 3-pointer from the wing tied it at 83 and he hit another from just inside the line to give Denver an 87-85 lead, its first since late in the first half.

Lillard and Murray began trading points. Murray hit two more 3-pointers and Lillard had a dunk, a 3-pointer and two free throws as the Nuggets grabbed a 95-92 lead with 4:42 left. After Anthony missed at the other end Jokic found a cutting Murray for a layup and a five-point lead.

Lillard missed a 29-footer and then Jokic found Murray again for a twisting jumper in the lane and a 99-92 lead, and the Nuggets closed it out.

Anthony led Portland in the second quarter. He hit two free throws, two mid-range jumpers and after a 3-pointer by Jones drained two more jumpers. He capped his 16-point quarter with a 3-pointer with 33 seconds left in the half, and the teams went into the intermission tied at 57.

--Field Level Media

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  • @New Orleans W 126 - 124
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W 56% L 44%
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  • Washington L 112 - 110
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  • @Atlanta L 115 - 123
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  • @Charlotte D 0 - 0
  • @Washington L 128 - 130
  • @Boston L 99 - 112
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Next Games

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Last Meetings

  • Trail Blazers @ Nuggets 106-111
  • Trail Blazers @ Nuggets 96-129
  • Trail Blazers @ Nuggets 95-126
  • Trail Blazers @ Nuggets 125-115
  • Trail Blazers @ Nuggets 100-96
  • Nuggets @ Trail Blazers 108-119
  • Trail Blazers @ Nuggets 98-124
  • Nuggets @ Trail Blazers 116-112
  • Nuggets @ Trail Blazers 137-140
  • Trail Blazers @ Nuggets 97-90

Eastern Conference

Philadelphia 76ers2312.657 15-38-9114.2110.8L15-0-5
Brooklyn Nets2313.639 13-610-7120.8116.2L19-0-1
New York Knicks1817.514 10-78-10105.0104.0L17-0-3
Boston Celtics1717.500 10-57-12110.9110.4L34-0-6
Toronto Raptors1717.500 8-79-10112.9110.4L26-0-4
Milwaukee Bucks2113.618 14-47-9119.6112.1L55-0-5
Indiana Pacers1518.455 7-108-8113.0112.6L43-0-7
Chicago Bulls1518.455 7-118-7114.6114.9L26-0-4
Cleveland Cavaliers1321.382 9-94-12104.5112.6L103-0-7
Detroit Pistons925.265 6-103-15107.5112.0L33-0-7

Western Conference

Utah Jazz278.771 15-212-6116.4107.1L17-0-3
Denver Nuggets1915.559 9-710-8115.6111.2L16-0-4
Portland Trail Blazers1814.563 8-610-8114.2115.2L46-0-4
Oklahoma City Thunder1420.412 6-118-9106.7112.4L14-0-6
Minnesota Timberwolves728.200 4-123-16108.1116.5L81-0-9
Los Angeles Lakers2411.686 11-713-4111.3105.6L45-0-5
Los Angeles Clippers2412.667 12-612-6114.9109.0L16-0-4
Phoenix Suns2211.667 11-611-5113.4107.5L18-0-2
Golden State Warriors1916.543 12-67-10114.0112.8L16-0-4
Sacramento Kings1321.382 7-126-9114.4120.3L11-0-9

Eastern Conference

Miami Heat1717.500 10-77-10107.7109.3L37-0-3
Charlotte Hornets1617.485 9-87-9112.1113.2L16-0-4
Atlanta Hawks1420.412 8-96-11113.1113.1L23-0-7
Washington Wizards1319.406 6-97-10114.8119.0L17-0-3
Orlando Magic1322.371 8-115-11105.4112.1L44-0-6

Western Conference

San Antonio Spurs1713.567 8-99-4111.0111.7L16-0-4
Dallas Mavericks1716.515 8-89-8112.5113.4L18-0-2
Memphis Grizzlies1515.500 7-108-5111.2110.7L15-0-5
New Orleans Pelicans1519.441 10-75-12115.9115.9L24-0-6
Houston Rockets1121.344 5-86-13107.9112.6L111-0-10

Last Injuries

Denver Nuggets

  • Paul Millsap

    Mid March | out

    Millsap is out of action with a left knee sprain, and he is not expected to return until the middle of March.

  • Gary Harris

    Mid March | out

    Harris is sidelined with a strained left abductor, and he is unlikely to return until the middle of March.

  • Facundo Campazzo

    Ques Tues | questionable

    Campazzo missed the last game while going through the NBA's health and safety protocols, and it is unclear if he will dress for Tuesday's battle with the Bucks.

  • Markus Howard

    Ques Tues | questionable

    Howard was held out of the last contest as he is enrolled in the league's health and safety protocols, and it remains to be seen if he will take the court against the Bucks on Tuesday.

  • JaMychal Green

    Mid March | out

    Green is out of the lineup with a shoulder injury, and he will not be available until the middle of March.

  • Michael Porter Jr.

    Prob Tues | probable

    Porter Jr. is expected to take on the Trail Blazers on Tuesday despite lower-back tightness.

  • JaMychal Green

    Prob Fri | probable

    Green is battling a right shoulder strain, but he is expected to take the court against the Cavaliers on Friday.

  • Will Barton

    Ques Fri | questionable

    Barton has missed the previous three games while tending to a personal matter, and it has yet to be determined if he will be available for Friday's tilt versus the Cavaliers.

Portland Trail Blazers

  • Jusuf Nurkic

    Mid March | out

    Nurkic is sidelined due to a right wrist fracture, and he is projected to miss at least six weeks.

  • CJ McCollum

    Mid March | out

    McCollum is likely to be out of commission until at least the middle of March due to a fractured left foot.

  • Harry Giles III

    Out indefinitely | out

    Giles III is out of the lineup due to a left calf strain, and a timetable for recovery has yet to be established.

  • Rodney Hood

    Ques Wed | questionable

    Hood has sat out the last two contests with a left foot sprain, and it is unclear if he will be active against the Pelicans on Wednesday.