NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, February 25th
(All times Eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (38-18) at Denver Nuggets (25-30), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers will step away from the Rose
City for Tuesday's Northwest Division battle with the Denver Nuggets at the
Portland is in the midst of playing seven of eight games at home and will take
on a Denver squad it has beaten twice already this season. The Nuggets had won
the previous three games in this series before their current slide and owns a
dominating 24-3 mark in the past 27 matchups in the Mile High City.
The Blazers ended a nine-game slide at Denver back on Nov. 1.
Denver and Portland will meet again Saturday in the Beaver State.
Portland won the last two portions of its recent three-game homestand and
recorded a 108-97 victory over Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves
Sunday at the Moda Center. Love's 31 points and 10 rebounds weren't enough to
propel the Wolves to victory and they shot just 39.4 percent.
Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard scored 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting and
Nicolas Batum ended with 22 points to go along with 10 boards. Wesley Matthews
scored 17 points and Thomas Robinson compiled 14 with 18 rebounds for the
Blazers, who had lost three straight and four of five games before the current
The Trail Blazers scored 32 of the 52 points in the third quarter
"The second half was really exciting," said Blazers coach Terry Stotts. "I
loved the energy that we played with. Defensively, it was a very good
defensive second half. Obviously, the play of Thomas Robinson made a
difference for us. Our attitude and our demeanor coming out of halftime is
what made the difference."
After Portland visits the Nuggets it will return home for four straight games
against Brooklyn, Denver, the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta. The Blazers, who
sit fifth in the West standings and are giving up 103.6 ppg, have a 17-11 away
mark and rank first in the NBA with 107.8 ppg.
Portland is still without All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge because of a
strained left groin and he is expected to miss more time.
The Nuggets are allowing 104.7 ppg this season and are missing a star of their
own, point guard Ty Lawson. Lawson is still sidelined with a fractured rib.
Denver opened a three-game homestand with Sunday's 109-95 loss to the
Sacramento Kings, as Evan Fournier had a career-high 27 points to go along
with five assists. Randy Foye posted 27 points and six rebounds for the
Nuggets, who have dropped two straight and seven of eight contests.
"Ultimately, they had three guys that we couldn't stop," Nuggets coach Brian
Shaw said. "Between Isaiah Thomas, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, they had 92
Fournier is averaging 17.0 points in his last four games.
The Nuggets fell to 1-5 without Lawson, who leads the team in points (18.0
ppg), assists (8.8 apg) and steals (1.5 spg).
Denver has a 14-13 mark as the host and will close the homestand Thursday
02/25 10:29:55 ET