Blazers Take Win Streak On The Road To Denver

by Casey Holdahl
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After a three-game homestand, the Portland Trail Blazers (25-21) will play seven of their next 10 games on the road starting Monday night with a tilt versus the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Trail Blazers enter Monday night’s contest having won their last three games, the most recent being a 117-108 victory versus the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night at the Moda Center. All five of Portland’s starters scored in double figures during the win, with Damian Lillard leading all scorers with 31 points after going almost the first three quarters without missing a shot from the field or free throw line.

“I felt pretty good,” said Lillard after Saturday’s game. “I said after the game my first shot that I made was a tough one but even when it left my hand, it felt good. I just had a good rhythm. Coming off an injury, each game I’m feeling better and better. I’m getting my speed back and my burst back. I missed some time so when I get that back and I’m also fresh, I’m able to do what I’ve got to do.”

In the eight games since returning from injuries to his right hamstring and calf, the 6-3 guard in his fifth season out of Weber State is averaging 25.0 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent shooting from three, 7.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 35.0 minutes per game.

While Portland is currently riding a three-game winning streak they have also lost their last three road games. The Trail Blazers have not yet won four games in a row during the 2017-18 season.

As for the Nuggets (23-23), they enter Monday's contest having lost their last two and six of their last eight. Their most recent loss, a 108-100 downing at the hands of the Phoenix Suns Friday night in Denver, dropped the Northwest Division club to .500 for the season.

Monday's game will be the third meeting between the Blazers and Nuggets, with Denver winning the previous meeting 102-85 in Portland on December 22. However, it will be the first game in Denver for Blazers center Jusuf Nurkić, who spent most of his first three season with the Nuggets before being traded to Portland, along with a first round pick, to Portland in exchange for Mason Plumlee.

"That's a game I looked forward to, definitely," said Nurkić. "It's a regular game here, but over there (it's) not. So, definitely super excited for Monday, looking for another win definitely."

Monday's game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam. Brian Wheeler will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.