Recap: Nuggets find their offensive rhythm crushing the Trail Blazers 140-108

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Following two straight games scoring under 100, Denver finally erupted

The Denver Nuggets had been struggling offensively but then the Portland Trail Blazers came to town. Unfortunately for the Blazers, they were without four of their top scorers but it set up Denver nicely for a get-right type of game. Denver started the scoring with aggressive activity inside but as the game continued, they found their stroke from deep. They knocked down 21 threes on 42 attempts and shot 62.7% overall from the floor. All 11 available players scored tonight and only Gordon and Uncle Jeff did not record a three.

The Nuggets set a season-high for points and three-pointers made tonight. They had six players score 15+ points as Barton led the group with 21. As refreshing as it was to witness great offense, this was a demoralized Blazers lineup and an expected victory. With that being said, Denver did what they had to do and took advantage of the situation which good teams usually do. This game introduced a six-game homestand for the Nuggets, and their next game will be against the Lakers on Saturday for a 7:00 PM tipoff.

1st Quarter

  • Portland started the game with a Nassir Little three, but Denver responded with aggressive offense. Their first three shots came inside the paint including four free throw attempts
  • Nassir Little scored 8 of Portland’s first 12 points but the rest of the Blazer lineup struggled early. The Nugget offense kept attacking the paint as a Green alley-oop dunk and a Jokic transition Jam gave Denver a 14-12 lead
  • Both offenses played well as the quarter ensued without much defensive resistance. Denver started 8-10 shooting while Portland made 8 of 16 shots
  • Jokic’s whole offensive package was on display in the first quarter. We saw inside and perimeter scoring, three assists, and 9 points on 4-5 shooting
  • As the bench sprinkled in Denver expanded their lead to 36-26 thanks to an 11-1 scoring run. Facu and Bones hit a three along with a put-back layup from Zeke Nnaji

Score: 41-28 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Little – 10, Jokic – 9

2nd Quarter

  • Jeff Green introduced the quarter with his yet another poster dunk. After Jokic left, the bench went on an extended 21-7 run to obtain a 45-33 lead
  • Zeke Nnaji displayed his athleticism and activity throughout his early minutes. He attacked the glass with two offensive rebounds and converted four points off those boards
  • Although Denver’s defense struggled a bit in the half-court, they did force three Portland turnovers on the fast break. The Nuggets handed them 7 turnovers midway through the first half, but the Blazers could only turn those into four points
  • Denver’s offensive rebounding appeared to demoralize the Blazers on both ends. After a Barton offensive rebound and put back, the Blazers committed two turnovers and the Nuggets stretched their lead to 57-39
  • Ben McLemore splashed a three for his 10th point, but the following possession he fouled Monte on a three. It seemed once the Blazers capitalized on one end of the floor, they frequently committed unforced errors
  • After a 19 point lead, Portland decreased it to 13. A Nurkic and-one layup plus a Tony Snell tip shot gave them a bit of momentum but it was short-lived. Barton responded with a three and Morris connected with Green on another alley-oop jam

Score: 72-55 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Uncle Jeff – 15, Little – 14

3rd Quarter

  • The opening to the second half was anything but pretty. Both teams turned it over on their first possession, they missed their first three attempts including two missed free throws from Barton. A Covington three were the only points scored in the first three minutes
  • The shooting percentages for both teams plummeted to start the third. The Blazers had the worst of it as they shot 1-9 with three turnovers in the first four minutes of the quarter. Will Barton and Jeff Green were the only offense for Denver, combining for 6 points
  • Nikola Jokic scored his first points of the quarter at the 7:00 mark with a driving layup and Will Barton hit another three. That would stretch the lead to 83-58 as the Blazers could not buy a bucket
  • A Rivers three, a Facu layup, and a Barton mid-range bucket really opened up the Nugget offense as they gained 90-66 lead
  • A scary sight happened when Barton collapsed to the floor following a collision with Nurkic. He appeared to jam his head into Nurkic’s knee and remained on the ground without much movement for about 4-5 minutes. He later returned from the locker room to the bench
  • The Blazers went on a 9-3 scoring run after Barton exited to decrease the lead to 20. Nikola Jokic then awoke the crowd with an and-one layup while Facu followed with a steal and layup

Score: 101-80 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Barton – 21, McLemore – 18

4th Quarter

Facu and Rivers started the quarter with two consecutive threes. It was Rivers’s third three of the game and for Facu it was his 15th point. On the other end, Portland missed their first three shots

Bones Hyland got out of his shooting slump at the start of the fourth. He drove for a contested layup and hit his beloved deep three, but he also connected for a couple of assists

After that Bones layup, the Blazers started a 10-3 scoring run with four points from Greg Brown III and other buckets from Blevins and Watford. The Nuggets still held a 20+ point lead at 112-89

Both teams went deep into the bench midway through the fourth. CJ Elleby played some good minutes late for Portland, scoring 6 points in one minute. Bones Hyland then heated up with his fourth three of the game giving the Nuggets a 122-96 lead

Bones, Nnaji, Facu, and Reed hit one three apiece in about a two-minute stretch as they gave Denver 130+ points for the first time this season

Score: 140-108 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Barton – 21, McLemore – 18

Stat leaders

Points: Barton – 21

Rebounds: Nnaji – 9

Assists: Campazzo – 12

Silent hero of the game: Jeff Green – 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists on 9-11 shooting and the jumping ability of a bunny rabbit

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