Game Preview: Blazers-Nuggets

Division showdown on top as Denver tries to get first win against Portland
by Aaron Lopez

Considering how LaMarcus Aldridge has played in two games against the Nuggets this season, Denver coach Brian Shaw doesn't mind seeing the All-Star forward take some more time to recovery from a groin injury.

Aldridge is expected to miss his fourth straight game Tuesday night when Portland Trail Blazers face the Nuggets at Pepsi Center.

"After the career-high 44 points he gave us last time, I don't mind that he's out," Shaw said after the team's shootaround. "He's had his way with us both times. I'm not mad that he's not going to face us."

Aldridge scored 25 points and had nine rebounds to help the Blazers spoil Denver's home opener on Nov. 1. He then posted 44 points and 13 rebounds in a come-from-behind victory in Portland on Jan. 23.

The Nuggets also remain without their leading scorer. Point guard Ty Lawson did some shooting and went through 5-on-0 drills at shootaround Tuesday but remains out with a fractured rib.


WHEN: 7 p.m. MT
WHERE: Pepsi Center, Denver.
TV; RADIO: Altitude; AM-950

DENVER (25-30)

F Wilson Chandler
F Kenneth Faried
C Timofey Mozgov
G Randy Foye
G Aaron Brooks

PORTLAND (38-18)
F Nicolas Batum
F Dorell Wright
C Robin Lopez
G Wesley Matthews
G Damian Lillard

Darrell Arthur (hip) is day-to-day; Ty Lawson (fractured rib) is doubtful; Danilo Gallinari (knee), JaVale McGee (stress fracture, left tibia) and Nate Robinson are out.
PORTLAND: LaMarcus Aldridge (groin), Joel Freeland (right knee sprain) and Meyers Leonard (left ankle sprain) are out.

The Nuggets have won 23 of their last 26 home games over Portland ... Denver is an impressive 27-14 (.659) overall against the Trail Blazers since 2003-04, with 10 of Portland's wins coming in the past four seasons ... The Nuggets have won the season series against Portland in seven of their last 11 years ... Denver and Portland both registered 50+ wins in 2010-11. Prior to that year, the last time both teams finished with 50+ wins during the same season had been 1987-88 (Denver 54 and Portland 53).