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Denver Nuggets seek vengeance against Portland Trail Blazers

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Denver has won 8 of it's last 10 games, while Portland has won 12 of their first 15 games. Both teams are firing on all cylinders as they meet tonight for the third time this season.

Ty Lawson dribbles by CJ McCollum
Ty Lawson dribbles by CJ McCollum
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Game 18: 2014-15 NBA Season
@

13-4 (4-2 road)
Series 0-2
9-8 (5-3 at home)
Dec. 2, 2014
Pepsi Center- Denver, CO
7:00 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Damian Lillard PG Ty Lawson
Wesley Matthews SG Arron Afflalo
Nicolas Batum
SF Wilson Chandler
LaMarcus Aldridge PF Kenneth Faried
Robin Lopez C Timofey Mozgov
Notes
Blazers Edge Blogs Denver Stiffs
CJ McCollum - Out (Index Finger Fracture) Injuries

JaVale McGee - Probable (Low Leg Strain),Randy Foye - Out (Vastus Lateralis Strain),Darrell Arthur - Probable (Left knee soreness)

Portland scored a season high 130 points against Denver in their last meeting on 11/12/14

Etc... Denver gave up 84 points in the first half of their last meeting against Portland.

After closing out Utah last night in a game they almost let get away, Denver heads home for the second game of a back-to-back against a rested Portland Trail Blazer team.  Portland has owned the Nuggets recently, as the Blazers have won six in a row against Denver.  We all remember the last time these teams met, as Denver was embarrassed on their home court 130-113.  We have seen tremendous growth since that travesty.  Tonight will be a good measurement for how far this team has come.

The Blazers are rested, so the Nuggets are going to have to dig deep to make the hustle plays necessary to win this game.  Portland specializes in 3-point shooting and rebounding.  Strong perimeter defending paired with solid box-outs down low will be keys to keeping the Blazers' offense in check.  Denver must be masterful on the defensive glass to prevent second chance points.  Nothing hurts more than giving up a long offensive rebound and having that lead to an open three point dagger.

LaMarcus Aldridge is a beast.  We cannot stop him, we can only hope to contain him.  Denver should force him to shoot contested mid-range jump shots.  Easier said than done, but if they can limit his attempts in the paint and prevent Portland's sharp shooters from getting open by avoiding double teams the Nuggets should compete.

Prediction

Nuggets use memories from the November 12th beat-down as motivation to play above their heads and ignore fatigue.  Portland is held below 100 points as the Nuggets win 105-99.

Go Nuggets!