Trail Blazers Game Notes: Portland Trail Blazers (16-24) vs. Denver Nuggets (20-19)
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (16-24) AT DENVER NUGGETS (20-19)
Thursday, January 13, 7:00 p.m. (Pacific) • Ball Arena
ALL TIME: Trail Blazers lead, 101-88
PORTLAND HOME: Trail Blazers lead, 71-24
DENVER HOME: Nuggets lead, 64-29
LAST PORTLAND WIN: 119-100, 11/23/21 (Por.)
LAST DENVER WIN: 124-95, 11/14/21 (Den.)
CURRENT WIN STREAK: One (Por.)
• Thursday's game is the third of four games between the Trail Blazers and the Nuggets during the 2021-22 campaign. The series is currently tied 1-1 with each team earning a home victory.
• LAST MEETING: The Trail Blazers beat the Nuggets in Portland on November 23, 119-100. CJ McCollum led the way with 32 points (13-19 FG, 5-9 3-PT, 1-3 FT), 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Damian Lillard also chipped in 25 points (9-13 FG, 5-8 3-PT, 2-2 FT), 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 1 steal.
• Jusuf Nurkić has averaged 15.7 points (50.3% FG,14.3% 3-PT, 74.0% FT), 9.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 12 career games against the Nuggets.
• Robert Covington has squared off against the Nuggets 17 times in his career, averaging 11.7 points (43.8% FG, 33.0% 3-PT, 82.1% FT) along with 6.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals.
• Ben McLemore is averaging 7.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.67 steals in 24 career games vs. Denver.
• Portland and Denver are a tale of two cities when it comes to the Free Throw line, the Trail Blazers rank 4th in the NBA with 22.2 FTA per game while the Nuggets sit in 30th with 18.1.
• Both teams are looking to generate momentum going into the second half of the season, Denver is 3-3 in the new year while Portland is 3-2.
• The Nuggets have the edge in overall shooting percentage (46.2 vs. 44.7) while the Trail Blazers hold the advantage in three-point percentage (35.8 vs. 33.6).
NEWS AND NOTES
STARTING FIVE: The starting lineup of Nassir Little (13), Robert Covington (21), Jusuf Nurkić (14), Ben McLemore (20) and Anfernee Simons (23) became the first Portland unit this season to all score in double figures.
ROCO IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Robert Covington became the first player in franchise history, and 23rd in NBA history, to finish a game with at least five three-pointers, three steals and three blocks when he did so against Brooklyn on Jan. 10. He finished the game with 21 points (6-9 FG, 5-8 3-PT, 4-4 FT), five rebounds, three steals, three blocks and one assist.
NURK DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Jusuf Nurkić recorded 14 points (6-12 FG, 1-2 3-PT, 1-3 FT), 16 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and one block against Sacramento on Jan. 9. It was his team-leading 16th double-double of the season.
MORE FLORIDIAN YOUTH: Nassir Little recorded 22 points (8-14 FG, 4-5 3-PT, 2-3 FT) to go with nine rebounds, two assists and one steal against the Hawks on Jan. 3. Little is the sixth player in team history to record two or more games of at least 20 points and nine rebounds before turning 22, joining Lloyd Neal, Greg Oden, Bill Walton, LaMarcus Aldridge and Zach Randolph.
BEN BUCKETS: Ben McLemore matched his season high with 28 points (9-22 FG, 6-14 3-PT, 4-4 FT) at the Lakers on Dec. 31. He scored 16 of his points in nine first-quarter minutes on 6-of-9 shooting (4-6 3-PT). He was the first bench player in the NBA to score at least 16 points in the first quarter this season.
LAST FIVE GAMES
Game #40 - Portland 114, Brooklyn 108 — January 10, 2022, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Portland won both games of a back-to-back with a 114-108 win vs. Brooklyn at Moda Center ... Robert Covington became the first player in franchise history with a single-game performance of five three-pointers, three blocks and three steals, finishing the night with 21 points (6-9 FG, 5-8 3-PT, 4-4 FT) and five rebounds ... Anfernee Simons logged his first double-double of the season with 23 points (10-24 FG, 2-11 3-PT, 1-2 FT), a career-high 11 assists and six rebounds ... Ben McLemore knocked down five three-pointers en route to 20 points (6-11 FG, 5-8 3-PT, 3-4 FT), five rebounds, two blocks and one steal ... The Trail Blazers got off to hot starts in each half, outscoring the Nets 33-26 in the first quarter and 32-19 in the third ... Portland's nine blocked shots tied a season-high ... Kevin Durant led the Nets with 28 points (9-19 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 8-8 FT) and 10 rebounds ... Cam Thomas contributed 21 points off the bench.
Game #39 - Portland 103, Sacramento 88 — January 9, 2022, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Portland defeated Sacramento 103-88 at Moda Center ...Jusuf Nurkic finished an assist shy of his second career triple-double, totaling 14 points (6-12 FG, 1-2 3-PT, 1-3 FT), 16 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and one block in 38 minutes ... Anfernee Simons led the scoring efforts with 31 points (10-17 FG, 7-11 3-PT, 4-4 FT), six assists and three rebounds in 35 minutes ... Nassir Little chipped in 13 points (4-13 FG, 3-8 3-PT, 2-2 FT), grabbed three rebounds and dished two assists in 34 minutes ... Ben McLemore started in place of Norman Powell (Health and safety protocols) and totaled 13 points (5-12 FG, 3-8 3-PT), two rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes ... Portland's defense held Sacramento to 88 points, a season low for a Trail Blazers opponent... Tyrese Haliburton led the Kings with 17 points (6-11 FG, 2-6 3-PT, 3-4 FT) and nine assists... Alex Len contributed a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Game #38 - Cleveland 114, Portland 101 —January 7, 2022, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Portland fell to Cleveland 114-101 at Moda Center... Norman Powell led the way with 19 points (5-14 FG, 4-8 3-PT, 5-8 FT), his sixth game leading the team in scoring while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out three assists in 36 minutes... Jusuf Nurkic set a career-high with two three-pointers and tallied his team-high 26th double-double with 14 points (5-17 FG, 2-2 3-PT, 2-4 FT), 12 rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block... Robert Covington returned to the starting lineup and tied a season-high with five three-pointers made, finishing with 17 points (6-9 FG, 5-8 3-PT), eight rebounds, one assist and two blocks... Anfernee Simons, in his third consecutive start, chipped in a game-high seven assists along with 14 points (6-15 FG, 2-8 3-Pt), three rebounds, one steal and one block...Darius Garland led the Cavaliers with 26 points (10-17 FG, 5-8 3-PT, 1-1 FT) and six assists.
Game #37 - Miami 115, Portland 109 — January 5, 2022, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
The Trail Blazers lost to the visiting Heat at Moda Center, 115-109 ... In his second consecutive start, Anfernee Simons led Portland with 28 points (9-17 FG, 5-10 3-PT, 5-5 FT), one rebound, seven assists and two steals in 39 minutes ... It was the first time in his career that Simons scored 20-plus points in consecutive games ... Norman Powell scored 26 points (7-18 FG, 3-7 3-PT, 9-10 FT) to go with three rebounds, one assist and one block in 40 minutes of action ... Jusuf Nurkic had a double-double of 14 points (5-7 FG, 4-6 FT), 13 rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block ... Nassir Little added 10 points (4-12 FG, 2-8 3-PT, 0-1 FT), four rebounds, three assists and one block in 34 minutes ... Max Strus led the way for Miami with 25 points (9-17 FG, 7-13 3-PT), six rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes ... Omer Yurtseven added 14 points, 16 rebounds and four assists.
Game #36 - Portland 136, Atlanta 131 — January 3, 2022, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Portland snapped a four-game losing streak with a 136-131 over the Atlanta Hawks at Moda Center ... Anfernee Simons led the way with a career-high 43 points (13-21 FG, 9-16 3-PT, 8-8 FT), three rebounds and seven assists ... Simons became the youngest player in Trail Blazers history to score 40-plus points ... Norman Powell added 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting (2-5 3-PT, 6-7 FT) to go with six rebounds, four assists and four steals ... Nassir Little had a season-high 22 points (8-14 FG, 4-5 3-PT, 2-3 FT), nine rebounds, two assists and one steal ... After missing three games in health and safety protocols, Jusuf Nurkic returned to record a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds to go with five assists and one steal ... The Hawks were led by Trae Young who scored a career-high 56 points (17-26 FG, 7-12 3-PT, 15-15 FT) to go with four rebounds and 14 assists.
For the Trail Blazers Cody Zeller (right patellar fracture) is doubtful; Norman Powell (health and safety protocols), Damian Lillard (abdominal tendinopathy - injury management), CJ McCollum (right lung pneumothorax), Larry Nance Jr. (right knee; inflammation) and Anfernee Simons (personal reasons) are out
For the Nuggets, Will Barton (left toe; sprain) is probable; Markus Howard (left knee; sprain) is questionable; Vlatko Cancar (right foot; surgery), P.J. Dozier (left ACL; surgery), Jamal Murray (left knee; injury recovery) and Michael Porter Jr. (lumbar spine; surgery) are out.
Thursday’s game can be seen nationally on TNT. On the radio side, Travis Demers, Michael Holton and Jay Allen will have the call on Rip City Radio 620 AM and on all of the stations of the Deschutes Brewery Trail Blazers Radio Network.