Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 113, Nuggets 98
• Ty Lawson registered 20+ points, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists for the second consecutive game, the second time in his career he has reached these numbers in back-to-back games (also did on Mar. 2-4, 2012).
• Kenneth Faried recorded his first double-double of the season (44th of career). Denver is now 26-2 at home when Faried posts a double-double.
• Nate Robinson posted his seventh career game with 24+ points and 7+ rebounds. Denver has now won 11 of their last 13 games when a reserve posts those numbers.
• LaMarcus Aldridge tallied 25 points, nine rebounds and four assists tonight, the 16th time in his career he has reached all those numbers in a single game.
• Wesley Matthews recorded 21 points and 12 rebounds, just the third double-double of his career and second career game with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
• The Nuggets lost their home opener to Portland 113-98. The loss snaps Denver’s 23-game regular season home winning streak that began on 1/20/13 vs. OKC.
• Tonight was Denver’s first loss in a home-opener since 11/1/08 vs. LAL. The Nuggets had won their last four home openers.
• Additionally, tonight’s 15-point loss was the Nuggets’ worst loss in a home opener since they lost by 18 on 2/5/99 vs. MIN.
• The loss also ends Denver’s nine game home-winning streak over Portland. It is their first home loss to the Blazers since 12/16/07.
• This is the second consecutive season that Denver has started the season 0-2 (last season the Nuggets were 0-3 before winning their home opener vs. DET on 11/6/12).
• Denver committed just five turnovers in tonight’s game, tying their all-time franchise low (committed five on six previous occasions).
• The Nuggets .364 (36-99 FG) field goal percentage was their lowest at home since they shot .347 (25-72 FG) on 2/23/09 vs. BOS.
• The Trail Blazers shot .636 (14-22 3FG) from beyond the arc, just the third time in team history a Denver opponent has made 14+ threes while shooting .636-or-better (most recently vs. DET on 3/21/12).
• The Nuggets bench outscored the starters 55-43 tonight. Denver went 5-5 last year when the reserves outscored the starters.
• The Blazers scored 40 points in the second quarter, the first time since 11/1/09 vs. MEM that an opponent has had a 40-point quarter in Denver.
• Portland had four starters post 18+ points, the first time a Nuggets’ opponent has accomplished this since 4/12/08 at UTA.
“We were just physical. We were committed to our ideals and we just stuck with it.”
On Offensive Performance:
“We have so many people on the offensive end. That’s why we are focusing so much on defense. We feel like the offense is going to take care of itself.”
On Difference Between Suns Game And Nuggets Game:
“Our biggest thing against Phoenix was we didn’t get off to a good start … (Tonight) we just played our style. Anytime you can hold a team like this to under 100 points we will take that.”
On Holding Off Nuggets:
“We were more resilient as far as when we let them cut into our huge lead. We were able to push them back away.”
On Hot Start:
“I just tried to go out there and play. Last game I wasn’t that great so Wesley (Matthews) and I had to do something tonight.”
On Creating Own Shots:
“I have to find this balance between creating for somebody else and creating my own shots. Tonight I just tried to score first.”
On Tonight's Performance:
“It was a solid win. I liked the way we came out, I liked our demeanor at the defensive end for the entire game – I think we kept them under 40 percent shooting for most the night and that is what we need to do on the defensive end. I thought we had a lot of solid efforts at the offensive end. Nicolas Batum got us going early, Wesley Matthews came on, LaMarcus Aldridge closed it and Damian Lillard was solid all night. Top to bottom it was a solid win for us.”
On Fending Off The Nuggets Rally In The Fourth Quarter:
“It was a solid win at the defensive end. LaMarcus Aldridge brought us home with his post game. It’s good to have a guy like that who can make those plays and guys can play off of him. Any win in this league, particularly on the road, is tough. I thought the way we kept our composure when they made their run is something we should be proud of.”
On Damian Lillard's Control Of The Game Tonight:
“I thought he managed the game well. He took his opportunities when they were there; got other players involved when he had to and called plays when they needed to be called. So, I thought he had a good all-around floor game. He has a great sense of his teammates and the flow of the game and I think he is going to continue to grow in that area.”
On How His Back Feels After Hard Fall In Fourth Quarter:
“I’m a tough individual. I’m going to get through it. I’m going to be all right. Just get some treatment and I should be all right.”
On What Changed In The Fourth Quarter:
“Intensity. Energy. We wanted to win. Home opener. Everybody was getting their first taste of the Nuggets in the regular season, and we wanted to win. I believe I picked it up, Randy (Foye) picked it up, Ty (Lawson) picked it up, Timo (Timofey Mozgov) played big and Nate (Robinson) played big. We wanted to make sure whoever we were guarding didn’t score. Nicolas Batum got off to a hot, Wesley Matthews was getting hot. We wanted to stop all that. ”
On If He Felt Like His Old Self:
“I felt like my old self from Game 1. I felt like my old self when I got back to practice. It’s just waiting for coach to feel like he’s more comfortable. J.J. (Hickson) did earn that (starting spot). He played the whole preseason and was playing well. Out of respect, I have to wait my turn.”
On What Was The Biggest Problem In Tonight's Game:
“We couldn’t get stops when we needed them. We came out a little flat in the first half, but you got to tip your hats to Portland, they shot the ball well. Portland has a team full of great shooters and we took it for granted in the first half.”
On What Changed In The Fourth Quarter:
“Home openers are key and watching this team last year home court advantage is something we have to take care of. We need to give these fans what they deserve and that is victories at home. Fourth quarter I just told the team we have to get the fans involved. We were out there playing our hearts out. It just seems like things were not going our way. Sometimes you just have to make things go your way.”
On If Tonight's Performance Is Something Correctable:
“I think we should show more effort. I know this is a new team with new coaches but that’s not an excuse. I really believe in this team and we can do great things. We just got to believe and play as hard as we can and compete.”
On Tonight's Performance: “We just let them get off to an early start. (Nicolas) Batum had twenty-some (points) in the first half. They were hitting a bunch of threes—we just didn’t play defense. There was too big of a hole to come back from. We made a strong second-half push but we’re supposed to play like that in the first half. (We had) A lack of energy, assignments—when somebody gets hot you have to stay close to them, if not help more. We let them have open shots—we just didn’t come out to play.”
On What Sparked The Nuggets Rally In The Fourth Quarter:
“Energy. Nate (Robinson) and that three-guard line-up brought a lot of energy to the game. We started getting stops. When we’d get the rebound, we would push it and got into something. In the first half we were going a little slower getting into stuff—we just have to come out with more energy.”
On Kenneth Faried Looking More Like Normal:
“Definitely, (Kenneth) Faried is going to be Faried. I asked him the other day, ‘Is it natural, or do you have to make yourself do that?’ and he was like, ‘Man, it’s just natural—I just bring energy all the time.’ It was good to see him back on the court, bouncing around, getting rebounds and just having his energy on the floor.”
On Nuggets Defense “The defense was a problem, giving up 64 points in the first half. They finished 14 for 22 from the three-point line, and I would say probably 16 or 18 of those (attempts) were uncontested.”
On Performance In The Fourth Quarter:
“For a home opener I thought the way that we played when we started to comeback was the way that we needed to be playing the game from the very beginning. Our team looked very tired from the jump, especially our bigs, they just looked winded.”
On Nuggets Overall Effort:
“Regardless of who we play we have to be the team that plays the hardest, we have to be the team that gets the loose balls. For about three quarters we weren’t that team.”