NBA Game Summary - Denver at Portland
(Friday, December 25th)
Final Score: Portland 107, Denver 96
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Brandon Roy bounced back from a one-game absence and scored 41 points, as Portland surged in the second half to beat Denver, 107-96, in a battle of Northwest Division rivals at the Rose Garden.
Roy, who missed Wednesday's game at San Antonio due to a sprained left shoulder, went 16-of-26 from the field and had six rebounds.
"I got the news that my shoulder was okay, it was just strained," Roy said. "I said I'm going to go out there and try to play if I can't hurt it further. I just wanted to be there for the guys. They stepped up huge in San Antonio and I just wanted to be out there with them. Tonight was a chance for me to go out there and just help them get through this game a little bit."
Steve Blake had 14 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter for the Trail Blazers, who won for the fourth straight time. He went 5-of-7 on three-point tries, burying four of them in the last quarter.
"I thought he did a great job of just reading and getting to the open spot," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "Denver does a lot of zoning. They trap and they zone and you've got to move, but you've got to move the ball also. Tonight, late in that fourth quarter - 33 point fourth quarter - you don't get that if you don't have good ball movement."
Andre Miller chipped in 14 points and eight assists, and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 10 to go with 13 rebounds in the win.
Carmelo Anthony had 32 points and nine rebounds for Denver, which lost for the third time in four contests. J.R. Smith added 20 points, while Kenyon Martin tallied 12 points and 14 boards in the fifth straight road loss for the Nuggets.
Portland trailed by two points entering the fourth, but shot 13-of-20 in the last quarter. That included a 6-of-9 effort from three-point range.
Smith's three-pointer tied the game at 85 with 7:38 remaining, but Roy and the Blazers then took charge. The veteran guard banged in a three-pointer and Aldridge followed with a jam. Aldridge then blocked Smith's shot at the other end, and that led to a Roy three-ball for a 93-85 advantage at the midway point.
"They had urgency to their game and Roy led them at a very high level," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We never really got control of his leadership, he had a big stat but his drive was pretty obvious. They knew this was an important win they couldn't give us a two-game lead on them, and we weren't good enough offensively."
A three-pointer from Blake ballooned the lead to 98-88 with 4:05 remaining, and Denver never got closer than eight the rest of the way.
The Nuggets assumed a 31-24 lead after the first quarter. The visitors were ahead by as many as 10 in the second, but the Blazers trimmed the margin to 51-49 at the half. It was tight throughout the third with Denver holding a 76-74 edge moving to the fourth.
Portland finished 11-of-21 from beyond the arc...Denver has lost five of its last seven at Portland...Chauncey Billups had 10 points for the Nuggets, while Martell Webster scored 11 for the Blazers...Roy's 16 field goals made marks a new career high. Roy's 25 points in the first half marked a career high for points in the first half and are the most points in the first half by a Trail Blazer since Darius Miles scored 32 at Denver April 19, 2005...The Trail Blazers improved to 14-2 all-time on Christmas...Jerryd Bayless had eight points and seven assists for Portland.
12/26 02:09:54 ET