----- Nikola Jokic records 40 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists as the Denver Nuggets top the Portland Trail Blazers 116-113 Sunday night at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
Nikola Jokic was too much for Jusuf Nurkic and the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night. Jokic finished just two assists shy of a triple-double finishing with 40 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists as the Denver Nuggets improved to 18-3 at the Pepsi Center on the season with a 116-113 win over the Trail Blazers. The 40 points is the most Jokic has ever scored against the Trail Blazers.
The Nuggets took their biggest lead of the game at 93-83 with 36.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter on a Will Barton Jumper. The Trail Blazers responded with an 11-0 run from the end of the third into the four quarter to regain the lead at 94-93. The game was a back-and-forth affair the rest of the way.
CJ McCollum connected on a three-pointer with 27.7 seconds remaining in the game to cut the lead to one at 114-113. Denver ran the clock down and Jamal Murray let a jumper fly that bounced off the rim, but he was able to grab the offensive rebound and was fouled. Murray connected on both free throws to put the Nuggets up three at 116-113.
Damian Lillard had a chance to send the game to overtime, but his 33-foot three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.
Portland (26-18) got a team-high 26 points and seven assists from Lillard and CJ McCollum added 18 points. The Trail Blazers shot just 45.5% from the field including just 12-for-34 from three-point range, but they connected on 21-of-22 at the foul line. The Blazers led by Lillard did a nice job of attacking the rim and were rewarded for it.
Up Next- The Trail Blazers will play the second of a back-to-back on the road tomorrow night Sacramento against the Kings. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 PM.
Chad's Take- Trail Blazers now 29-59 all-time in Denver, Colorado.