-----The Denver Nuggets connect on 18-of-32 from three-point range as they end the Trail Blazers 18-game winning streak in home openers with a 108-100 win Wednesday night at Moda Center.
Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 32 points and 8 assists and Hassan Whiteside had a monster night with 16 points and 19 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the Denver Nuggets take the opener 108-100.
Portland took a 79-73 lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Nuggets responded with a 24-11 run to take control of the game at 97-90 after Nikola Jokic connected on back-to-back three-pointers. Jokic scored 16 points in the fourth on 3-of-4 shooting from downtown.
“It’s tough," Blazers guard CJ McCollum said. “We had a chance to win it down the stretch, we just didn’t execute, didn’t get enough stops. We still got 81 games left, so we have a lot that we can improve upon.”
Jokic finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds and Will Barton finished with 19 points and five rebounds. Jamal Murray added 14 points and six assists and Torrey Craig scored 10 off the bench.
The game was decided at the three-point line with the Nuggets finishing plus-33 from distance. Denver connected on 18-of-32 from three while Portland made just 7-of-28.
“They shot it really well,” Terry Stotts said. "The way the game is going, we’ve got to be able to defend the three better. That was a concern in the preseason and it was tonight.”
The Blazers committed 20 turnovers on the night leading to 18 points for the Nuggets.
The Blazers had a number of new faces playing in the opener with three new starters and multiple guys off the bench who were making their Portland debut. Rodney Hood finished with 13 points and five rebounds, Zach Collins dropped eight points and five rebounds, Kent Bazemore scored four points and had five steals, and Anfernee Simons scored five points on 2-for-7 shooting.
Anthony Tolliver went scoreless and Mario Hezonja added two points.
Up Next- The Trail Blazers will travel to Sacramento to meet the Kings on Friday night. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 PM.
Chad's Take- You can't win a game when you get outscored by 33 points from three and turn it over 20 times. Blazers must do a better job of defending the three-point line.