Nuggets Legendary Moments: Denver clinches Northwest Division in 2019
On this day last year, the Denver Nuggets achieved a significant milestone following a victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
With the 119-110 win at Pepsi Center, Denver clinched its first Northwest Division title since the 2012-13 season. The win was also a significant milestone for coach Michael Malone and President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly, who had worked for several years to build and develop the current core of the Nuggets roster.
The win was Denver’s 53rd of the 2018-19 season and the Nuggets would end up securing a 54-28 record, good for second in the Western Conference.
The April 5, 2019 matchup was a back-and-forth affair against a division foe. After Portland jumped out to a 29-22 lead after one quarter of play, the Nuggets responded with a dominant 34-21 advantage in the second frame.
However, Portland was also fighting for playoff seeding and came out firing in the third quarter, outscoring Denver 37-28 to take an 87-84 lead into the final quarter. That is when Nikola Jokić came alive, as the Serbian big man dropped 10 points in the fourth quarter to propel Denver to a 35-point quarter, which resulted in the 119-110 victory.
Jokić finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, while Paul Millsap chipped in with 25 points and seven rebounds. Jamal Murray (23 points and six assists) and Torrey Craig (18 points and seven rebounds) also had notable performances.
The win was also Denver’s third in a row against Portland, as the two teams would eventually match up 11 times during the 2018-19 season, including postseason games.
Throughout the month of April, Nuggets.com will look back on some of the most memorable games and individual performances throughout franchise history!