Division Rivals Meet Friday Night At Moda Center

by Casey Holdahl
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Before heading out for a two-game road trip, the Portland Trail Blazers (13-8) host Northwest Division rival Denver Nuggets (14-7) in the first meeting between the two teams this season. Tipoff is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Moda Center.

SERIES NOTES

ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead, 97-79
IN PORTLAND: Trail Blazers lead, 68-21
AT THE NUGGETS: Nuggets lead, 58-29
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 99-82, 11/13/17 (Portland)
LAST NUGGETS WIN: 88-82, 4/9/18 (Denver)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Three (Denver)

GAME NOTES

• Friday’s game marks the first of four meetings between the Trail Blazers and the Nuggets during the 2018-19 season. Denver won the season series in 2017-18, 3-1. The Trail Blazers won the season series in each of the four seasons before that.

LAST MEETING: Before heading out for a two-game road trip, the Portland Trail Blazers (13-8) host Northwest Division rival Denver Nuggets (14-7) in the first meeting between the two teams this season. Tipoff is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Moda Center.

CRASHING THE BOARDS: Portland and Denver are two of the four teams in the NBA that rank in the top-10 in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. Denver leads the league in total rebound percentage (53.7%) while the Trail Blazers are fourth (52.4%).

• Damian Lillard averaged 21.7 points (40.7% FG, 30.8% 3-PT, 72.2% FT), 3.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.67 steals in three games against Denver last season. Lillard has scored at least 25 points in five of his last seven games against the Nuggets.

• Jusuf Nurkic averaged 16.5 points (50.9% FG, 70.6% FT), 9.3 rebounds and 1.00 block in four games against the Nuggets during the 2017-18 season. Nurkic has had three double-doubles in his five games against Denver since being acquired by the Trail Blazers in the 2016-17 season. He has shot 57.4% from the field in those five games.

• In four games against the Trail Blazers last season, Nikola Jokic averaged 16.0 points (39.3% FG, 31.6% 3-PT, 71.4% FT), 12.0 re- bounds, 6.3 assists and 1.25 steals. Jokic has logged one triple-double and two double-doubles in his last four games at Moda Center.

• Jamal Murray averaged 18.8 points (45.2% FG, 25.0% 3-PT, 92.9% FT), 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in four games against the Trail Blazers in 2017-18. Murray scored 38 points to go with five rebounds and six assists at Portland on Jan. 22, 2018.

CONNECTION: Jusuf Nurkic spent his first two-plus seasons (139 games) with the Nuggets, posting averages of 7.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists.

CONNECTION: Nuggets guard Will Barton was drafted 40th overall by Portland in the 2012 NBA Draft and averaged 3.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in two-plus seasons (144 games) with the Trail Blazers.

INJURY NOTES

The Trail Blazers have no injuries to report for Friday night's game. The Nuggets have yet to release their injury report.

BROADCAST NOTES

Friday's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. NBC Sports Northwest also streams 76 live games during the 2018-19 Trail Blazers season. NBA League Pass will also carry the game, though blackouts based on location apply. The game will also air on ESPN.

Brian Wheeler and Michael Holton will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.