The first quarter between the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trail Blazers got off to a hot start with the two sides electing to not play a ton of defense during the first quarter with the two sides nearly dead even at 12-13 with just over 6:00 remaining. Monte Morris stepped up in the scoring department with a quick seven, but Denver couldn’t get any stops on the defensive end to build a lead. Throw in eight first-quarter turnovers, and it was a recipe for disaster with Denver trailing 33-27 and the end of the quarter.
The two sides started the second quarter a bit slower than they had played in the first before the Blazers went on a run about four minutes into the period that had stretched their lead a bit. Denver scored a pair of buckets out of a timeout, and they were back within three. They finally took the lead on a triple from Jeff Green. After leading 49-48 with a few minutes to go in the second quarter, Damian Lillard took off and led a 12-0 run for the Blazers to give them a 60-49 lead with 1:03 remaining in the quarter. They added on another quick four out of a Denver timeout before Will Barton drilled a triple to stop the bleeding late in the quarter. Portland would go into the half leading 66-52 following a last-second floater from C.J. McCollum.
The two sides started the second half trading buckets, and the Nuggets were struggling to close the gap to closer than 11 points. As the quarter rolled on, Portland’s lead was growing, and they were up by 17 when the Nuggets called a timeout with just over 7:00 remaining in the quarter. Coming out of the timeout, Denver was chipping away at the lead as they went on a 13-4 run over the next three minutes. The two sides traded baskets to end the quarter before another buzzer-beater by McCollum gave Portland a 90-79 lead heading into the final period.
Denver started the fourth quarter slow, but, by the time they turned it on, the Blazers’ lead was starting to become insurmountable. They led by 15 with 6:30 remaining in the game before Barton hit a big 3-pointer to keep the Nuggets in the game. Denver had committed 17 turnovers on the night with four minutes remaining in the game, and that was the exact number of points they were trailing by. With Portland leading by 19 with under 4:00 remaining. The two sides emptied their benches, and this one was over. The Nuggets were already short-handed entering the game, and it only got worse with the potentially serious knee injury suffered by P.J. Dozier earlier in the game. For the Nuggets, at the rate they’re going, they’re going to be struggling to field a complete team by the time the All-Star Break rolls around. Denver ultimately went on to lose by a score of 119-100.
Points: Jeff Green - 24
Assists: Will Barton - 7
Rebounds: Barton - 8
Player of the Game: - Jeff Green 24 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 9-of-16 field goal, 3-of-4 3-point, 3-of-3 free throw