National Basketball Association
Denver 119, Portland 110
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, April 5, 2019
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
#61 Courtney Kirkland, #37 Eric Dalen, #8 Marc Davis
Nikola Jokic finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, Paul Millsap scored 25 points, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 119-110 on Friday night.
Jamal Murray scored 23 points to help the Nuggets clinch the Northwest Division and at least the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. Denver (53-26) has a slim chance at the top seed and leads Houston by 1 1/2 games for the second seed, with a game at hand.
Enes Kanter had 24 points, Rodney Hood had 17 points and Al-Farouq Aminu had 12 points and 14 rebounds for Portland (50-29). Damian Lillard scored 14 points and missed all six of his 3-point attempts.
Down three heading into the final 12 minutes, Jokic gave Denver a boost. He scored the team's first seven points of the period and put the Nuggets ahead 98-91 with a spin move and layup with 8:21 left.
After a Portland turnover, Jokic fed Torrey Craig for a layup, and Monte Morris' long jumper gave Denver a 102-93 lead with 7:14 left.
Portland cut it to three, but a bank shot by Murray and a putback by Craig made it 114-107 with 1:12 left. Craig, who finished with 18 points and seven rebounds, hit a 3-pointer with 12.5 seconds left to seal it.
Denver's cold shooting to start the game allowed Portland to take an 11-point lead. The Trail Blazers made their first four shots and quickly went in front. They stretched it to 29-18 late in the first quarter, but the Nuggets finally got their offense going.
They started the second quarter on a 12-2 run to go ahead 34-31, and the lead fluctuated throughout the second quarter. Denver, thanks to a 14-0 edge in made free throws, took a 56-50 lead into the half.
Lillard was scoreless until his layup with less than a second left in the second quarter.
Denver led 73-64 midway through the third quarter before Portland rallied to take the lead heading into the fourth. The Trail Blazers outscored the Nuggets 23-11 in the final 6:16 of the period to lead 87-84 after three.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Enes Kanter 24
Paul Millsap 25
Damian Lillard 8
Nikola Jokic 9
Al-Farouq Aminu 14
Nikola Jokic 13
Damian Lillard 8
||Free Throws Made
Jamal Murray 7
Rodney Hood 3
Malik Beasley 2
Al-Farouq Aminu 1
Mason Plumlee 2
Team Stats Summary
Denver will play their next game on the road against Portland. The Nuggets have a W/L % of .717 after a win and .577 after a loss.
Portland will play their next game at home against Denver. The Trail Blazers have a W/L % of .608 after a win and .679 after a loss.