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Recap: Denver Nuggets dominate Portland Trail Blazers

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Portland Trail Blazers v Denver Nuggets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

After trading misses, Hassan Whiteside got an easy dunk right at the rim when the defense parted the red sea, but Gary Harris went back on the other end with a dunk in the face of Whiteside. Nikola Jokic went 1-on-1 with Whiteside, and he got a tip-in layup to fall by staying with his misses. The Nuggets gave up a dunk to Whiteside, but they were able to get a 3-point shot to fall following a defensive technical on the other end.

Up 8-4, Jokic got into the paint and got an easy layup to fall when he faked right around Whiteside. Damian Lillard scored a bucket on the defensive technical. Following the inbounds, Carmelo Anthony drew a foul on Jerami Grant, and he was able to nail both of his free throws to get within three before Will Barton made a contested layup at the cup.

On the other end, Lillard drove right to the basket for a reverse layup. After Jokic failed to draw a foul, the Blazers went back to the other end where Whiteside got a rolling layup. Off of a slick feed by Jokic, Murray got an easy dunk to fall to regain their 3-point lead before Trevor Ariza tied it up at 14. During the under 6:00 timeout, Murray went into the tunnel to stretch out his legs on the stationary bike.

Ariza made both of his free throws which gave them a 12-4 run in 2:30 minutes before Lillard made another layup at the rim. Jokic put an end to the run when he got a 3-point shot to fall that brought them within one. Following a foul by Whiteside, Jokic nailed hook shot from the paint that gave them a brief lead before Lillard nailed a tough fadeaway shot from the left wing. Barton got a 3-point shot to fall from the wing, but Portland immediately answered.

Juan Hernangomez drew a foul charging to the rim, and he was able to knock down both of his attempts from the line. Following a turnover by Portland, Jokic nailed his second 3-point shot to give them a 4-point lead and force a timeout out of the Blazers. The two sides traded turnovers before Jokic got another long-range bucket to fall that brought it to seven. After a miss by Denver, Lillard went right at Torrey Craig to draw a foul where he made both foul shots.

Grant nailed a pair of free throws with a little over 1:00 remaining, but Lillard made a contested layup. Monte Morris made a long-range 2-point shot with 45 seconds remaining in the first quarter before Craig and Grant combined for a huge block on Lillard on the other end. With 3.8 seconds remaining, Craig committed a foul under the basket, and Gary Trent Jr. went 1-of-2 at the line. Charging down the floor, Malik Beasley got a shot to foul and was fouled with 1.1 remaining. He converted the 3-point play, and Denver went into the quarter break with a 37-28 lead.

Grant started off the second quarter with a big dunk that gave the team an 11-point lead. After a make by Portland, Denver had a possession that featured an offensive rebound by Craig who bullied in for a layup. The two sides traded misses before McCollum fouled Craig hard in transition driving to the basket which was ruled a flagrant one. Craig went just 1-of-2 at the line, but he grew the lead to 12.

After a missed 3-point shot by Jokic, Portland got a basket to fall at the rim that brought them within 10. The two sides traded misses before Jokic was able to convert a bucket at the rim. After a miss by Ariza, Craig was blocked easily in transition by Whiteside and led to a dead-ball timeout. Following the dead ball, Jokic found Hernangomez under the basket for an easy dunk where he was able to draw the foul and convert the free throw.

Down by 15, Trent got another layup to fall, but Barton matched it with a circus layup under the basket. Murray nailed a pair of free throws with 4:21 remaining to take a 17-point lead. The two sides traded misses before Harris was blocked into the rim which led to a jump ball. After winning the jump ball, Murray got a layup to fall that gave the team a 19-point lead with 3:20 remaining and forced another Portland timeout.

Portland was unable to score following the timeout, and Grant adds insult to injury with a huge dunk that gave them a 21-point lead. After forcing miss by Whiteside, Grant nailed a 3-point shot that made it a 24-point lead, and the Blazers were stumbling. Melo missed a wide-open 3-point shot which prompted an over-the-back foul on Whiteside, and it gave Jokic a pair of free throws where he went perfect.

Denver turned the ball over after an outstanding defensive possession, and Lillard got a shot to fall at the rim before Grant got a bucket at the rim off a speedy pass from Murray. McCollum got an easy bucket to fall on the other end that kept the deficit at 24. Following an out-of-bounds play, Jokic nailed an absolutely bananas fallaway jumper that gave them a 26-point lead heading into halftime.

Coming out of the half, Denver kept cooking with a Murray mid-range basket. On the next possession, McCollum went right to the basket where he nailed the shot through a foul, and he made the free throw that followed. Jokic matched that with a 10-foot shot, and he forced a miss out of Whiteside. However, he threw an errant pass in transition that went out of bounds. McCollum cut the lead to 24 with a big 3-point shot before Murray matched it with one of his own.

After a miss by Portland, Murray drew a foul on Whiteside and went 1-of-2 at the line. Portland nailed a triple to cut it to 25 before forcing a miss out of Jokic. After a Portland miss, Barton nailed a triple that stretched the lead to 28. Following a Lillard miss, Barton got another long ball to fall, and they had a 31-point lead which forced another Portland timeout.

Out of the timeout, Portland turned the ball over, and Murray was fouled hard in transition by Carmelo, but he was only able to go 1-of-2 at the free throw line. Down by 32, Whiteside got a follow layup to fall after a Lillard miss. After a miss by Murray, McCollum got a 3-point shot to fall, but Murray matched it with one of his own. Following the make, Lillard walked right to the rim for a layup which prompted a timeout from Michael Malone.

Following the timeout, Jokic drew a quick foul on Whiteside which sent him to the bench with five fouls. Barton nailed another 3-point shot, and the lead was north of 30 once again. Caleb Swanigan got his first basket to fall, but Murray nailed a 3-point shot thanks to a screen by Jokic. While going for a rebound, Swanigan fouled Jokic, and Denver capitalized with a floater by Jokic.

McCollum answered immediately on the other end before making a 3-point shot on their next offensive possession which forced another timeout from Malone. Following the timeout, Jokic went right at Swanigan for the easy basket, but McCollum kept rolling with a contested floater in the paint. Following a miss by Grant, Jokic got a block on McCollum, and he swatted the ball into him to get possession.

Jokic got underneath and found Morris on the wing for a 3-point bucket that got the lead back to 32. Trent nailed his own 3-point shot as the clock was running down, and Morris got an easy layup at the basket off of a pass from Jokic. After forcing a turnover, Jokic turned it over in transition with a pass right into the mitts of Lillard. The Blazers were fighting hard on offense to get a bucket with multiple saves, but Hernangomez eventually ended the possession with a huge block.

Beasley was fouled in transition along with a technical foul being called on Lillard. He went 0-of-3 on his attempts which were his first missed free throws in 26 attempts. After a miss by Swanigan, Craig got around the basket for a nifty layup, but it was unable to foul. He stuck with his miss and drew a foul, but he only went 1-of-2 at the line. After a miss by the Blazers, Jokic drew a switch on Trent, and he immediately got the foul to go to the line where he was perfect.

Down by 32, Portland capitalized on a Denver miss with another 3-point shot by Trent. Denver turned it over following a screen-foul by Beasley. Lillard got his bucket to fall through a foul, and he got the free throw to go down with it. Heading into the fourth quarter, Denver had a 26-point lead, and Jokic was an assist away from a triple-double.

Denver started the fourth quarter with a stop on defense, and Hernangomez nailed a layup. After forcing a turnover, Grant got a 3-point shot to fall which gave them a 31-point lead. Swanigan got a his own easy layup to fall. After a miss by Denver, Juancho stuffed Swanigan which led to a layup by Craig in transition where he was fouled and gave him a 3-point play.

The two sides traded misses before Trent got a dunk to fall, but Beasley maintained the 30-point lead with an easy 3-point make. Mario Hezonja got his first basket of the night with a spinning layup around Craig. Following some offensive rebounds by Portland, they eventually got the shot to fall, and Grant went down grabbing at his ankle before immediately heading to the tunnel.

Following a Denver timeout, we saw a miss by the Nuggets before they committed a foul in transition on Hezonja heading for a layup that sent him to the line where he went 1-of-2. Down by 28, with the two sides trading misses, Hezonja got another basket to fall. Following a miss by P.J. Dozier, Beasley nailed a 3-point bucket with 5:30 remaining that was allowing them to keep their distance.

Denver gave up a 3-point bucket following a traveling violation, but Beasley got his third 3-point basket of the night to fall which kept the lead at 29. Following a Portland timeout, Hezonja nailed another shot, and they forced a Denver to turn the ball over. After failing to capitalize on it, Denver too the ball right to the rim for an easy Beasley layup.

Simons nailed a pair of free throws, and Jarred Vanderbilt had to push bask in transition to foul Nassir Little before he crushed in a dunk off of a turnover. With 2:48 remaining, Little went 1-of-2 at the line which brought them within 25. Dozier got into the paint for a layup, and Vanderbilt got aggressive for a steal and score which stretched it to 29. Little nailed a pair of free throws, but Vlatko Cancar got them right back with a dunk on the other end of the floor.

With 1:30 remaining, Portland missed another shot, and they failed to take advantage of some poor dribbling by Dozier which gave Cancar an easy layup following the loose ball. Hezonja went perfect at the line, and the two sides were dribbling the clock out with 1:00 remaining. Little suffered an ankle injury when his foot landed on Cancar, and he had to be helped off of the floor. The two sides dribbled the clock out, and Denver ended with a 127-99 win.

Stat Leaders

Points: Nikola Jokic - 29

Assists: Jokic - 9

Rebounds: Jokic - 13

Player of the Game: Nikola Jokic - 29 points, 13 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals 11-of-17, 3-of-5 3-point, +23