Nikola Stock – Nuggets pull out victory over Blazers, run win streak to 4
EditorsNote: adds to ninth graf; changes to “PJ” in 11th graf
Nikola Jokic had 25 points and nine rebounds, Michael Porter Jr. scored 17 points, and the visiting Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 106-105 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.
Will Barton scored 14 points and Aaron Gordon and Facundo Campazzo had 12 each for Denver (38-20). Austin Rivers, signed to a 10-day contract on Tuesday, had five points in his Nuggets debut.
Damian Lillard scored 22 points in his return from a three-game absence. Norman Powell had 17 points but missed a shot at the buzzer that would have won it for the Trail Blazers.
CJ McCollum added 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Robert Covington and Carmelo Anthony scored 12 apiece and Enes Kanter finished with 11 for Portland. Covington added eight rebounds.
The Trail Blazers (32-26) have lost three straight and seven of their past nine.
Jokic made one of two free throws to put the Nuggets up 104-103 with 1:15 remaining. After Lillard misfired on a 3-point attempt, Jokic was fouled and hit both free throws with 40 seconds left.
Lillard made a driving layup, and Denver missed on the other end.
Powell was tied up with Gordon for a jump ball with 4.5 seconds left, and the tip went to the Trail Blazers. Covington passed it to Powell, who missed a 9-foot floater at the buzzer.
It was the second straight night Portland missed a game-winning try at the buzzer, as they fell 113-112 to the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
The Trail Blazers led 89-84 early in the fourth, but Denver came back.
Paul Millsap hit a 3-pointer, Rivers tied it with two free throws, and after a Portland layup, PJ Dozier put the Nuggets ahead with a corner 3-pointer.
Rivers hit a 3-pointer from the top of the circle to make it 97-93, but a four-point play and a jumper by McCollum tied it at 99 with 4:57 left.
Denver led 60-57 at half and stretched it to 65-59 early in the third, but the Trail Blazers went on an 18-2 run to lead 77-67. Two three-point plays by the Nuggets got them within four, and they cut it to 84-82 heading into the fourth.
–Field Level Media