It is officially time for the regular season to begin. That could not happen though without one more preseason game, which ended in a 110-104 victory for the Denver Nuggets over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Denver opened preseason play with a victory over Portland last week, which they replicated on Thursday night in their first game at the Pepsi Center this season. With the Trail Blazers playing last night in Utah, Portland rested most of their key players.
For the Nuggets, this was there final tune up before they open the regular season next Wednesday night — October 23 — against this same Trail Blazers squad. Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap certainly seem ready for the games to start counting as both played outstanding in Denver's final preseason contest.
Jokic finished with a solid stat line of 11 points in 16 minutes of action, while Millsap scored 13 points on a near perfect 4-of-5 shooting from the field, two of which came from downtown. Will Barton also dropped 13 points to go along with nine rebounds and four assists as he continues to make a strong case to be the Nuggets starting small forward on opening night.
Monte Morris was the Nuggets only other player to score in double figures as he scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, while also dishing out two assists. Morris continues to give Denver really solid minutes as he looks poised to build on his breakout year last season.
One stat that can not go overlooked is Mason Plumlee’s shooting numbers as he finished the game 3-of-4 shooting from the field and 1-of-1 from three-point range.
Plumlee’s only made two threes in his entire career and both came last season. If the Nuggets backup big man can add three-point shooting to his repertoire, watch out. Not only did Plumlee score efficiently on Thursday night, but he also hauled in six rebounds and dished out three assists to build on what has already been a very impressive preseason.
Another scene that happened on Thursday night was Michael Porter Jr. making his Pepsi Center debut. The Nuggets rookie scored five points on just 1-of-5 shooting, but he did secure three rebounds in his 15 minutes of action.
Denver will be back in action next Wednesday night in Portland to face the Trail Blazers. That game will tip-off at 8pm MDT and will be televised nationally on ESPN.