National Basketball Association
Preview
Denver at Portland
When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 28, 2015
Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon

The Portland Trail Blazers appeared to have righted themselves after a slump and look for their third straight victory when they host the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. Portland endured a five-game losing streak before bouncing back with road wins at Utah and Phoenix and the contest against Denver is the first of a three-game homestand. The Nuggets have showed life of late by going 8-6 since Melvin Hunt became interim coach after Brian Shaw was fired.

The Trail Blazers are in fourth place in the Western Conference and sit 2 1/2 games behind the third-place Houston Rockets with 11 games to play. Portland won at Phoenix for just the third time in the last 19 visits on Friday thanks to a late surge by power forward LaMarcus Aldridge in an 87-81 victory. Denver also won Friday, rolling to an easy 107-91 victory over the Utah Jazz.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, Altitude (Denver), KGW (Portland)

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (28-45): Point guard Ty Lawson has been playing solid basketball over the past few games and had 18 points and nine assists in the victory over Utah. “The kid is playing some of the best basketball I’ve seen him play,” Hunt told reporters. “Ty set the tone, he set the table, he spoon-fed some people. He generated offense for different people in different ways. That speed is special; it’s a special weapon.” Lawson has excelled against Portland this season, averaging 24.7 points and nine assists in three games.

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (46-25): Aldridge scored 27 points with 10 coming in the final 3:26, including four straight jumpers after Phoenix moved within one point. “I was just trying to find a rhythm, and I made one shot and I kind of played off that,” Aldridge told reporters. “I thought (Damian Lillard) did a really good job of coming back to me and I thought my teammates kept looking for me and I was just trying to make shots for us.” Aldridge is averaging 23 points and nine rebounds over the last two games after missing one contest with a finger injury.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Portland is 3-0 against the Nuggets this season and has won the last seven meetings.

2. Denver PG Jameer Nelson is 23-of-44 from 3-point range over the past eight contests.

3. Trail Blazers SG Arron Afflalo, who came to Portland from Denver at the trade deadline, has failed to reach double digits in any of the last five games.

PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 112, Nuggets 104
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Denver 28-45 W1 17-20 11-25 1-5 27-40 6-8 17-26
Portland 46-25 W2 28-7 18-18 2-1 44-24 9-3 26-16
Last Meeting
Denver Portland
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/2/14 POR 105 DEN 103 103 41 50.6 105 37 50.0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Denver T. Lawson 24 56.2 3
Portland L. Aldridge 39 53.3 7
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Denver W. Chandler 10 3 7
Portland L. Aldridge 11 0 11
Assists Player  
Denver T. Lawson 13
Portland N. Batum 13
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Denver T. Lawson 1104 43.9 263
Portland D. Lillard 1564 43.2 328
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Denver K. Faried 613 210 403
Portland L. Aldridge 680 168 512
Assists Player  
Denver T. Lawson 694
Portland D. Lillard 454
Quickchart Matchup
Denver Off vs  Portland Defense
100.3 Points For
97.9 Points Against
43.1 FG%
43.8 FG%
44.7 Reb
44.7 Reb
Portland Off vs  Denver Defense
102.3 Points For
103.6 Points Against
44.6 FG%
45.2 FG%
44.7 Reb
45.2 Reb