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CJ McCollum scored 32 points and the Portland Trail Blazers gave the exhausted Denver Nuggets their fifth straight loss, 119-100 Tuesday night.
Damian Lillard had 25 points and five assists to help the Blazers take their fourth straight win and ninth straight at home.
After a slow start to the season, the Blazers believe they are starting to gel under new coach Chauncey Billups and his staff.
“I think we’re just finding out each other,” said McCollum. “We have new staff, a new structure, new principles. It takes time. Slowly but surely we’re getting better. We communicate better, we begin to understand better what Chauncey and our staff want. ”
The decisive turn of the game came late in the second quarter. After the Nuggets took a 49-48 lead by 3:35 minutes, Portland took control. The Trail Blazers unleashed an 18-3 sprint to end the first half, triggered by four 3-pointers from Lillard and crowned by a buzzer-beating layup from McCollum, giving them a 64-52 lead at half time / p> “The notable games were dames shot, but it came from losing the ball,” said Billups. “CJ had two really big steals on the ball in isolation situations, two steals that led to baskets. The defense triggered this run for us. I was talking about closing quarters and halves; I was very proud of the way we finished the first half. ”
The Nuggets lost another player to injury. Denver striker PJ Dozier fell to the ground with a left knee injury in the first quarter and had to be helped into the locker room by his teammates. He did not return.
The injury came at a difficult time for the Nuggets. Dozier joined NBA MVP Nikola Jokic (right wrist), Jamal Murray (left knee recovery), Michael Porter Jr. (rear) and Bones Hyland (right ankle) on Denver’s long injury report.
“That was a trap game,” said McCollum. “A lot of players are out, their best player is obviously injured. You never know what to expect when everyone gets the green light, but I thought we did a good job. ”
The Blazers dominated the Nuggets 28-2 in fast break points, in large part due to 19 Denver sales. Portland only had nine turnovers.
Nuggets manager Michael Malone stood on the podium in a Colorado Rapids jersey before the game, showing his support for the Denver MLS team ahead of their playoff game against the Denver later that week Portland Timbers. The Rapids finished the Western Conference with the most points.
“I just want to congratulate you on an historic season and Robin Fraser, the head coach, has done a great job in a short amount of time,” said Malone of his pre-game clothing. “The Rapids aren’t getting the attention and recognition they deserve, and I just wanted to show they have the Denver Nuggets’ support.”
The Blazers will be out for Thanksgiving and begin a three-game journey on Wednesday. Billups said the team has planned a meal for the holidays, but his family won’t join him on the trip. “I’d rather have them with my family than Thanksgiving at the hotel,” said Billups.
Justen Glad scored the winning goal in the sixth round of a penalty shoot-out and Real Salt Lake beat Seattle 6-5 on the tiebreaker after a goalless game to eliminate the Sounders in the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs / p> Kristaps Porzingis scored 30 points, Luka Dončić had 26 points on his return to the Dallas line-up and the Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 112-104 in overtime
Ahmir Langlais came off the bench and scored 15 points to lead five players in double digits, and South Carolina Upstate held South Carolina State 82-78. ab
Jordan Minor and Mykel Derring both hit career highs of 25 points and Merrimack scored a 75-60 win over Hartford
Dane Goodwin scored 17 points to take six players to double-digit hits, and Notre Dame showed a dominant second half to beat Chaminade (90-64) in a second-round game in the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas. Max Murrell scored 18 career points and Stanford retired mid-second off to beat North Carolina A&T 79-65
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