Lillard, Trail Blazers set for matchup with the Nuggets
Denver; Friday, 10:30 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Damian Lillard leads Portland into a matchup against Denver. He’s ninth in the NBA scoring 26.0 points per game.
The Nuggets have gone 32-16 against Western Conference teams. Denver is second in the Western Conference with 12 offensive rebounds per game, led by Nikola Jokic averaging 2.9.
The Trail Blazers are 5-9 against the rest of the division. Portland is fourth in the Western Conference scoring 114.6 points per game and shooting 46.6 percent. The Nuggets won 116-113 in the last meeting between these two teams on Jan. 13. Jokic led Denver with 40 points and Lillard led Portland with 26 points.
TOP PERFORMERS: Malik Beasley leads the Nuggets with 2.0 made 3-pointers and averages 11.2 points while shooting 40.1 percent from beyond the arc. Jokic has averaged 19.1 points and added 11.6 rebounds while shooting 56.2 percent over the last 10 games for Denver.
Lillard leads the Trail Blazers averaging 26 points and is adding 4.6 rebounds. Enes Kanter is shooting 53.8 percent and has averaged 13 points over the last 10 games for Portland.
LAST 10 GAMES: Trail Blazers: 8-2, averaging 117.4 points, 49.6 rebounds, 25.3 assists, 6.2 steals and 4.7 blocks per game while shooting 47.8 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 108.6 points on 45.1 percent shooting.
Nuggets: 6-4, averaging 102.6 points, 47.1 rebounds, 26 assists, 7.2 steals and 3.9 blocks per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 103.5 points on 44.9 percent shooting.
Nuggets Injuries: Michael Porter Jr.: out (back).
Trail Blazers Injuries: Jusuf Nurkic: out for season (leg fracture), CJ McCollum: day to day (left knee strain).