(SportsNetwork.com) – The Portland Trail Blazers will make a quick turnaround
when they host the Northwest Division-rival Denver Nuggets Sunday night.
The Blazers just dropped a 106-102 decision to the Los Angeles Clippers
Saturday at Staples Center in a game that was tight throughout. The Clippers
had a 53-40 advantage in the second half and were led by J.J. Redick’s 30
Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford all scored more than 20 points
for Los Angeles, which recorded 19 points on 16 Portland turnovers.
Portland was led by Damian Lillard’s 25 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge ended
with 21 and 10 rebounds. Robin Lopez scored 19 points for the Blazers, who
made 45 percent from the floor and had a two-game win streak stopped.
“Our offense was going good early,” said Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. “We
made six of our first seven threes. Then they made adjustments.”
The Nuggets have lost four in a row after opening the season with a win.
In a 110-101 loss to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Randy
Foye scored 28 points with nine assists off the bench and both Wilson Chandler
and Nate Robinson added 14 apiece. Denver was in a hole at the jump, trailing
by a 38-20 score after 12 minutes.
“Coming in and pretty much giving the team an 18-point lead in the first
quarter is tough,” Robinson said.
Denver point guard Ty Lawson was a late scratch with a lingering left ankle
injury and he is questionable Sunday. Nuggets forward J.J. Hickson is probable
against the Blazers and served a five-game suspension for violating the
league’s drug policy.
Hickson is recovering from a torn ACL and missed the last 13 games of the
2013-14 campaign. He averaged 11.8 points and 9.2 rebounds in 69 games for
Denver last season, including 52 starts.
The Blazers won all four meetings with the Nuggets last season and have
prevailed in eight of the past nine encounters in the Rose City. Denver is
only 3-12 in the last 15 trips to the Pacific Northwest.