Trail Blazers Face Nuggets At Midway Point Of Regular Season Restart

by Casey Holdahl
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The Portland Trail Blazers reach the midway point of their eight-game NBA restart schedule Thursday night with a tilt versus a Northwest Division rival, the Denver Nuggets, in a contest with significant playoff implications for both teams. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

SERIES NOTES

ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead, 98-85
IN PORTLAND: Trail Blazers lead, 69-23
AT THE NUGGETS: Nuggets lead, 62-29
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 115-108, 4/7/19 (Portland)
LAST NUGGETS WIN: 127-99, 2/4/20 (Denver)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: Three (Denver)

GAME NOTES

• Thursday's matchup will be the fourth and final meeting between the Trail Blazers and the Nuggets this season. Denver leads the season series, 3-0.

LAST MEETING: The Nuggets handed the Trail Blazers a 99-127 defeat in Denver when the teams last met on Feb. 4. Damian Lillard paced Portland with 21 points (8-23 FG, 1-6 3-PT, 4-4 FT), two rebounds and nine assists while Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 29 points (11-17 FG, 3-5 3-PT, 4-4 FT), 13 rebounds, nine assists and three blocks.

FAMILIAR FOE: The Trail Blazers and the Nuggets squared off in the 2019 Western Conference Semifinals with Portland clinching the series with a decisive 100-96 Game 7 victory in Denver on May 12, 2019.

• Jusuf Nurkic has averaged 18.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in seven games (all starts) against the Nuggets since being acquired by the Trail Blazers from Denver on Feb. 13, 2017.

• CJ McCollum scored 20 points (8-18 FG, 3-7 3-PT, 1-1 FT) to go with two rebounds and one assist against the Nuggets on Feb. 4. McCollum has shot a combined 8-of-18 (44.4%) from the three-point line in three games against Denver this season.

• In three games against the Nuggets this season, Damian Lillard has averaged 22.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 9.3 assists.

• Hassan Whiteside had a career-high 33 points (15-21 FG, 1-1 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with 11 rebounds, two assists and four blocks at Denver on Dec. 12.

• Nikola Jokic has recorded a double-double in five straight regular season games against the Trail Blazers. He has averaged 26.2 points, 12.0 rebounds and 6.8 assists in that span.

• In three games against Portland this season, Will Barton has averaged 16.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He has scored in double figures in 12 of his 18 career regular season games against Portland.

CONNECTION: Portland center Jusuf Nurkic spent his first two-plus seasons with the Nuggets from 2014-17, averaging 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds in 139 games.

CONNECTION: Denver guard/forward Will Barton (2012-15) Denver center Mason Plumlee (2015-17) both played multiple seasons for the Trail Blazers.

INJURY NOTES

Rodney Hood (left ruptured Achilles tendon) is not with the team in Orlando and will not participate in any scrimmages nor games the rest of the season. Trevor Ariza (personal reasons) and Caleb Swanigan (personal reasons) are not with the team and will not play in Orlando.

The Nuggets have yet to release their injury report for Thursday’s game.

BROADCAST NOTES

Thursday’s game can be seen locally on NBC Sports Northwest with Jordan Kent, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam calling the action. Travis Demers and Michael Holton will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations on the Deschutes Brewery Trail Blazers Radio Network.

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