Blazers fall to Denver, still have inside track on 3 seed

Paola Ditto
Aprile 10, 2018

If Denver loses to Portland but beats Minnesota (assuming the Timberwolves beat Memphis) and San Antonio goes 0-2, the Nuggets make the playoffs.

Nikola Jokic posted his 10th triple-double of the season and the Denver Nuggets kept their playoff hopes alive by rallying past the Portland Trail Blazers 88-82 on Monday night. Two of those teams are Denver and Portland, and they will face one another in a huge clash on Monday. Denver is in control of its playoff destiny. Will Barton added 22 points, leading a comeback from an 11-point third-quarter deficit.

On the season, the Nuggets are averaging 110.3 points, 44.4 rebounds and 25.2 assists per game.

The Nuggets lead the season series against the Trail Blazers two games to one, escaping with a close three-point victory the last time these teams met. Denver covered as a 3-point favorite and the game finished with a total of 205 points, which was 6.5 points below the projected point total of 211.5 points. Though they are in the third place of the Western Conference, they have lost their last three games.

Trail Blazers: F Ed Davis returned to action after missing four games with a sprained right ankle, and Stotts said the boost he provided was bigger than his 5.4-point and 7.4-rebound averages. "We have a great rhythm going", Malone said. "What he offers on the court is unique, as far as his rebounding, his screen setting, his finishing around the paint, all those things", Stotts said.

"Right now, I'm not expecting Gary Harris back", Malone said. "He's working very hard and if that changes, then we'll be ready to adjust". He has jumped significantly in all major statistical categories this season to average 16.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists, and shoot 45.3% from the floor and 38.3% from beyond the arc. "If Nikola is putting up those numbers on a losing team, he wouldn't get recognized".

Harris, who is averaging 17.7 points and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 39.9 percent from 3-point range, sustained the injury when he landed awkwardly on his right leg after being fouled on a made dunk late in the fourth quarter of a March 15 home win against Detroit. He also won the award back in November and is the first Nuggets player to earn multiple player of the week honors since Carmelo Anthony did it in 2009-10.

Trail Blazers: Play Utah at home Wednesday night in their regular season finale.

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