NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 15th (All times Eastern)
Portland Trail Blazers (20-17) at Denver Nuggets (23-16), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Denver Nuggets will try to extend their winning streak to six games on Tuesday night when they welcome the Portland Trail Blazers to the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets, winners of eight of their last 10, finish off a four-game homestand Tuesday night. Denver and the San Antonio Spurs share the NBA lead in fewest home losses with two.
Denver has trailed heading into the fourth quarter in the last three wins, all at home, but its final-frame play has been spectacular. During this five-game winning streak, the Nuggets are outscoring opponents by 10 ppg in the fourth quarter alone.
"I like that we've stayed determined and overcome leads in the fourth quarter," coach George Karl said after practice Monday. "But I'd rather see some fourth quarters at home where we have the game under control in the fourth, the bench comes in and extends it and we cruise control into a win."
On Sunday, the Nuggets overcame an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit with a dominant 37-18 performance to blow past the Golden State Warriors, 116-105. Danilo Gallinari led the way for Denver, which had six players in double figures.
One of them was Wilson Chandler, who returned from a two-month absence with a hip injury. He had 14 points and was one of three bench players in double- digits.
The Blazers head to the Mile High City struggling a bit. They dropped two in a row after a four-game winning streak. There's no shame in Portland's losses - at Golden State and at home on Sunday to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The final was 87-83 and the Blazers did not get much scoring help for their starting forwards. LaMarcus Aldridge had 33 points and 11 rebounds and Nicolas Batum chipped in 21 points.
The rest of the starters - Damian Lillard, J.J. Hickson and Wesley Matthews - combined for 23 points.
The bench was even worse. The six reserve players who saw minutes on Sunday combined for six points.
"It was just a rough night for us as a team offensively," said Lillard. "LA (Aldridge) really had it going, carried us offensively. Nic got it going but I think outside of those two, I think we struggled."
The loss snapped a nine-game home winning streak for the Blazers that spanned back to Dec. 8.
The Blazers won this season's only matchup with Denver, a 101-93 decision on Dec. 20 in the Rose City. But the Nuggets have won seven consecutive games at home in this series.
01/15 10:36:38 ET