Nuggets Rip Blazers

----- Nikola Jokic finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists as the Denver Nuggets hammered the Portland Trail Blazers 114-99 Thursday night at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

Hassan Whiteside scored a career-high 33 points for the Trail Blazers, but it wasn't enough.

Nikola Jokic recorded a double-double finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds and Denver connected on 18-of-36 from three-point range as the Nuggets dropped the Trail Blazers 114-99 Thursday night at Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets' bench dominated action outscoring the Blazers' bench 46-9. Jerami Grant scored 20 points and Monte Morris added 11. The Nuggets controlled the glass with a 48-35 edge in rebounding incluidng a 15-7 edge in offensive rebounding.

Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting and pulled down nine rebounds in his return to Denver.

Trailing by seven at halftime, Portland cut the deficit to one on a Damian Lillard three-pointer, but Denver responded with a 10-0 run in the final 2:33 of the third quarter to put the game away.

Notes- Jusuf Nurkic, working his way back from a broken lower left leg suffered last March, ran the stands at the Pepsi Center during the team's shootaround. Nurkic has been doing conditioning and shooting drills in recent weeks. Terry Stotts said before the game, ''He is doing everything he is supposed to do behind the scenes.''

Up Next- The Trail Blazers will travel to Phoenix to meet the Suns on Monday night. Game is scheduled to tip off at 6:00 PM.

Chad's Take- Jusuf Nurkic running stairs at Pepsi Center today was better than the game itself.

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