Nuggets at Trail Blazers
After recording another home victory, the Denver Nuggets leave the friendly confines of the Pepsi Center to visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday in hopes of improving its 12-19 road record. Denver, which holds the fifth playoff spot in the Western Conference, moved to 24-3 at home with a nine-point win over the Lakers on Monday. The Trail Blazers have been off since Sunday, when they snapped a seven-game losing streak with a six-point victory over Boston.
The teams split their previous two meetings this season, with each team winning at home. Portland guard Wesley Matthews, who scored a game-high 24 points with five 3-pointers against Boston, is averaging 17 points against Denver this season. Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari missed Monday's game against the Lakers with a left thigh bruise, and he’s listed as day-to-day. Wilson Chandler replaced Gallinari in the starting lineup and scored 23 points.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Altitude (Denver), Comcast SportsNet Northwest (Portland)
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (36-22): Chandler is averaging 18.7 points on 22-of-42 shooting over the last three games, and he’ll likely make his third start of the season if Gallinari is unavailable. Guard Andre Iguodala has recorded two straight double-doubles for Denver, which has won 12 of its last 16 games and moved 2 1/2 games behind Memphis for the fourth playoff spot. Point guard Ty Lawson, averaging 18.5 points and 10 assists against Portland this season, has scored 20-plus points in a career-high seven straight games. Lawson has been one of the top players in the league over the past seven games, averaging 25.6 points and 8.3 assists during that stretch.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (26-30): Portland stands four games behind Houston in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot, and guard Damian Lillard leads all rookies in scoring (18.3) and assists (6.5). Fellow rookie Victor Claver grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds in 19 minutes against Boston, and coach Terry Stotts said he’ll look to give the 6-10 forward more playing time down the stretch. Forward Nicolas Batum is averaging 22 points and five assists against the Nuggets this season, and center J.J. Hickson has also played well with 18.5 points and 15.5 rebounds per game. The Trail Blazers are 18-3 when leading after three quarters.
1. The home team has won 12 straight contests in the series between the two teams.
2. The winning team between Portland and Denver has scored over 100 points in seven straight meetings.
3. Five of the last six games between the teams have been decided by single digits.