Nikola Jokic leads the Blazers
After a doubleheader at home over Dallas, the Blazers traveled to the Rockies, where a snowstorm didn’t stop local fans from making it to the arena. They performed well as their team won its 14th straight at home (122-113) behind a fresh triple-double from Nikola Jokic (36 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists).
On the contrary, Damian Lillard did not spare his horse, scoring 44 points along with 8 assists. The Blazers led by 30 points at halftime, but his team had no answer with Anfernee Simons (14 points on 5/15 shooting) and former teammate Jusuf Nurkic clearly dominating the game.
It was at the end of the third quarter that the Nuggets could really create a decisive gap under the momentum of the good Michael Porter Jr. (23 points). Along with him, Jamal Murray (17 points, 7 assists) or Aaron Gordon (11 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds) also performed in their roles, which was not really the case with the “support staff” from Portland.
Chauncey Billups bit the dust from his eighth straight loss outside of his troops to return home to Denver, where he inaugurated a room named after him at his former high school …
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– Nuggets still dominate at home. We know the Nuggets have “natural” home advantage, with the elevation of the Mile High City. But Denver also adds to the effort. Without coach Mike Malone, who was placed in isolation, the Nuggets won their 14th straight at home, improving their home record to 20-3. Another compelling stat: The Nuggets are undefeated (13-0) when Jokic hits a triple!
– Damian Lillard is very lonely. It was already one of the fears early in the season, and it’s been confirmed as the months have passed: Is Damian Lillard wasting his talent in the solitude of Portland? The superstar guard, who is in great form right now, lacked scoring support, while Jusuf Nurkic (6 points), Josh Hart (4 points) or his lieutenants Simons and Grant were too clumsy.
✅ Nikola Jokic. After his triple-double, including the win against Orlando, Jokic continued with a new high performance against Portland tonight: 36 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists! The two-time MVP finishes an abysmal 13/14 in shooting, his only loss coming from behind the arc, plus a terrible 9/10 in shooting, a 54 rating!
✅ Damian Lillard. Already at halftime with 30 points and 8/12 shooting, he finished with 44 points and 8 assists for his sixth straight game above 30. Unfortunately, his teammates didn’t really support him and he gave up in the second half (14 points).
✅ Aaron Gordon. While Michael Porter confirms his resurgence with 23 points, we still prefer to highlight Gordon’s “all over” performance, which shines strongly alongside the Joker. With 11 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists, the former Magic finally made Jokic smooth his team’s game.
⛔ Yusuf Nurkic. If he started the battle with the 3-pointer, he was quite composed, well contained by Jokic, who (again) sang to him on the other side of the court. Dominated by his direct opponent, two-time MVP Jusuf Nurkic, finished a paltry 2/9 in shooting for 6 points, 10 rebounds and 4 stray shots (and 5 fouls)…
⛔ Anfernee Simons. At 2-of-10 from 3-point range and 5-of-15 overall, he didn’t make his field goals. With 14 points scored for 15 shot attempts, the ratio is clearly not ideal, far from it!
Denver (31-13) : reception of monsters tonight.
Portland (21-23) : The start of a six-game home series against Philly on Thursday.