Short-handed and out of breath a mile above sea level, the Portland Trail Blazers simply could not finish off the opponent.
Enes Kanter had 24 points, Evan Turner and Jake Layman scored 15 off the bench, but the Blazers fell to the Denver Nuggets 117-110 in Denver Friday night. Paul Millsap led the Nuggets with 25.
Here are tonight’s takeaways:
- Lillard gets no love. Damian Lillard had a rough night with just 14 points, but much of the issue came from a lack of foul calls. Several times Lillard took contact while driving to the rim only for the referees to swallow their whistle. The issue only got worse in the second half.
- Jokic takes over the fourth quarter. Nikola Jokic feasted on the Blazers defense down low in the fourth quarter, scoring ten points and snaring three important offensive rebounds. Portland’s inability to deal with him sealed their fate.
- A rare Simons sighting. With Seth Curry injured, Anfernee Simons saw some action early in the first half. He went scoreless, and ended up playing just five minutes total, a rough point for the Blazers as Lillard played 39 minutes in the thin air.
Portland has a rematch with the Nuggets Sunday in the Rose City.