Blazers score 84 in first half, blow past Nuggets

Denver, CO ( – Damian Lillard had 27 points and nine assists
and the Portland Trail Blazers used a historic first half to roll to a 130-113
rout of the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

The Blazers scored 39 points in the first quarter and 45 in the second,
matching a franchise record for points in a second quarter set back in 1973.
They were just the third team since 1992 to score at least 84 points in a
first half.

“It feels great,” said Lillard. “You want to get out in transition, you want
to play unselfish, you want to make shots, you want to defend. I think we did
all of those things as well as we’ve done it all season, especially for an
entire half.”

Robin Lopez netted 15 of his 19 points in the first half and LaMarcus Aldridge
had nine of his 12 while blocking six shots in just over 18 first-half
minutes. Aldridge finished one block shy of his career-high, set in 2010
against Denver.

Chris Kaman and C.J. McCollum went for 16 and 15 points, respectively, in
reserve roles, as Portland won for the fifth time in its last six games.

Ty Lawson was the lone bright spot for the Nuggets, who have given up at least
110 points in five straight games. Lawson scored a game-high 32 points and
handed out six assists.

Former Blazer J.J. Hickson posted a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double off
Denver’s bench.

The Nuggets scored the game’s first six points and led 9-2 three minutes in.
Portland chipped away and took its first lead on an Allen Crabbe 3-pointer at
7:07. The triple was part of an 18-4 run that Matthews capped with a 3-ball
from Lillard.

“I thought we started out well,” said Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw. “Ended up
giving up 39 points in the first quarter followed by a 45-point second
quarter. We got booed by the fans, which we deserved based on the effort that
we gave out there on the floor.”

Joel Freeland’s putback at the end of the period gave Portland a 39-28 lead.

Kaman and Lillard scored 13 points between them in less than four minutes to
start the second. Steve Blake then hit a three and Crabbe dunked to push the
margin to 20.

By the time Aldridge hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3.3 seconds
left in the half, Portland had built an 84-50 advantage.

The Blazers made 14 of their 21 shots in the second, including 5-of-8 from 3-
point range and 12-of-13 from the free throw line.

Denver won the fourth quarter, 35-19, to make the final score look more

Game Notes

The Blazers last scored 45 points in the second quarter on Oct. 13, 1973,
against the Capital Bullets … Blazers forward Nicolas Batum missed his
second straight game with a right knee contusion … Portland has won six
straight over Denver … Portland shot 16-of-33 from behind the arc.