The Denver Nuggets combined for just 33 second half points and suffered another tough loss at the hands of Jusuf Nurkic and the Portland Trail Blazers.
After a 5-1 home stand, the Denver Nuggets (8-6) had a chance to keep it going against a tough division opponent in the Portland Trail Blazers (7-6). The game didn’t go according to plan though and the Nuggets suffered yet another loss in Portland, a place they haven’t won at since 2013. The Nuggets shot just 35.7 percent from the field and just 28.1 percent from behind the three-point line. Portland on the other hand shot 52.1 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from behind the arc. Both teams committed over 20 turnovers, Denver with 20 and Portland with 22, but the Trail Blazers destroyed the Nuggets in points in the point and outscored them in that department 42-32.
The Trail Blazers were led by their big three in former Nugget Jusuf Nurkic, Damian Lillard, and CJ McCollum. Nurkic was a bully in the post and posted a strong stat line of 17 points and five rebounds. The only bad part of Nurkic’s night was his team high seven turnovers, which gave the Nuggets some great fast break opportunities. Lillard played a great game on both ends of the floor and contributed 15 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and four steals. McCollum was tied for the team high in points with 17 and shot 3-5 from behind the three-point line.
Nikola Jokic had arguably his worse game of the season Monday night and scored just six points on 2-9 shooting. Jokic still contributed seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals, but also had three turnovers. The other four Nuggets starters all had double figures with Paul Millsap and Jamal Murray leading the way with 18 points. Wilson Chandler added 14 points and Will Barton, who filled in for injured Gary Harris, added 12 points. The Nuggets point guards didn’t have a great night as Murray had six turnovers and Emmanuel Mudiay contributed three turnovers, and had a team low in the +/- department with a -29.
The Nuggets will look to get back on track when they face the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night at Pepsi Center. It’ll be the Nuggets second nationally televised game of the season and will air on ESPN at 8:30 MST.