DEN
POR

No Text

Lillard scores 30 points, Trail Blazers beat Nuggets 115-108

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) CJ McCollum's return and a victory by the Lakers boosted the Trail Blazers on a night they also beat the Nuggets.

Damian Lillard scored 30 points to lead Portland to a 115-108 win Sunday over a Denver team that rested its top three scorers.

The Blazers got some help in their pursuit of home-court advantage by the Lakers, who beat the Jazz 113-109. As a result, the gap between fourth-place Portland and fifth-place Utah widened to two games with two remaining for both teams. And Portland got McCollum back after he missed 10 games with a left knee injury.

''To get him back and the way we played when he was out, a lot of guys had to step up and do a little bit more,'' Lillard said about McCollum. ''I think the fact that it went well, it gave a lot of guys more confidence. It gave us other guys we can turn to when we do get to the postseason.''

Al-Farouq Aminu added 23 points and 11 rebounds for Portland, which snapped a six-game losing streak to the Nuggets.

Gary Harris had 18 points for Denver, which played without Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap and Jamal Murray.

After trailing by 14 in the first half, Denver closed the gap in the second half and pulled to 92-91 on Torrey Craig's 3-pointer before taking the lead on free throws.

The teams traded the lead, but Juancho Hernangomez hit a 3-pointer that put the Nuggets in front 104-98 with 5:14 left.

Lillard's 3-pointer put the Blazers ahead 107-106 and Enes Kanter extended the lead with a layup with 2:18 left. Aminu added free throws and a reverse layup that made it 114-106 and sealed the win. Portland closed the game on a 17-3 run.

''It wasn't pretty, but I liked the way we finished,'' Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. ''We made a lot of energy plays in the last two to three minutes to pull away.''

Stotts said before the game that McCollum's minutes would restricted, but he played 25 strong minutes and had nine points.

''I felt like I was moving pretty well, I felt my conditioning was in pretty good shape,'' McCollum said. ''I was just trying to play the game.''

The Nuggets defeated the Blazers just two days before. Jokic had 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, and Denver clinched the Northwest Division title with a 119-110 victory Friday night. It was the team's first division title in six years.

The Nuggets were assured of at least the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference and can clinch the second seed with two more wins. They haven't been the No. 2 seed since the 2008-09 season.

But with home-court clinched, the Nuggets sat Jokic, Millsap and Murray against the Blazers.

''We just want to make sure we're healthy, rested and playing as well as we can going in,'' coach Michael Malone said.

Portland started the day just a game up on Utah for the fourth seed. The Houston Rockets held on to the No. 3 seed with a 149-113 win over the Suns, and were a game and a half up on Portland.

The Nuggets led by eight points in the opening minutes, but Portland caught up and took a 29-25 lead going into the second quarter. Portland stretched the lead to 14 before heading to the break with a 60-49 lead.

Portland reserve guard Seth Curry, who sat out Friday's game with leg soreness, came off the bench to lead all scorers with 11 points at the break.

The Nuggets closed the gap in the third quarter, outscoring Portland 12-2 to get within 73-72 on Lyles' basket. Denver was unable to pull in front.

''The biggest thing with this game was that we didn't rebound. That's the story of the game. They had 17 offensive rebounds for 22 second-chance points,'' Malone said. ''You've got to finish off your defense with that gang rebounding. We did a poor job with that all night long. That and missed free throws were probably the two biggest reasons we lost the game.''

TIP INS

Nuggets: Denver won the previous five games against the Blazers. ... Denver missed out on the playoffs for the past two seasons. ... Mason Plumlee fouled out with 1:38 left.

Trail Blazers: Portland went 8-2 without McCollum. ... Kanter had 11 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double in five games. ... It was Aminu's first game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

MORE MILESTONES

With his first 3-pointer, Lillard passed his franchise record of 229 3s set in the 2015-16 season. With his second, he reached 1,500 for his career. ... Lillard has scored 2,047 points so far this season, a new career high. He ranks fourth on the Blazers' single season list.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: At Utah on Tuesday before hosting Minnesota on Wednesday to end the season.

Trail Blazers: At the Lakers on Tuesday before wrapping up the season at home against Sacramento on Wednesday.

---

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
W. Barton
5 SG
D. Lillard
0 PG
35.4 Min. Per Game 35.4
25.9 Pts. Per Game 25.9
6.9 Ast. Per Game 6.9
4.6 Reb. Per Game 4.6
40.5 Field Goal % 44.5
40.5 Three Point % 44.5
77.8 Free Throw % 91.1
+ 2 Isaiah Thomas made driving layup 0:24
  Shooting foul on Malik Beasley 0:31
  Defensive rebound by Evan Turner 0:48
  Trey Lyles missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:50
+ 2 jump shot 0:56
  POR team rebound 1:05
  Evan Turner missed 1st of 2 free throws 1:21
  POR team rebound 1:21
  Personal foul on Isaiah Thomas 1:21
  Defensive rebound by Al-Farouq Aminu 1:29
+ 1 Al-Farouq Aminu made 1st of 2 free throws 1:38
Team Stats
Points 108 115
Field Goals 42-95 (44.2%) 41-89 (46.1%)
3-Pointers 13-33 (39.4%) 9-28 (32.1%)
Free Throws 11-20 (55.0%) 24-29 (82.8%)
Total Rebounds 49 66
Offensive 12 17
Defensive 30 41
Team 7 8
Assists 24 22
Steals 9 5
Blocks 4 5
Turnovers 10 16
Fouls 26 16
Technicals 0 0
10 PTS, 11 REB, 6 AST
30 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST
1234T
away team logo Nuggets 53-27 25243227108
home team logo Trail Blazers 51-29 29312629115
Team Stats
away team logo Nuggets 53-27 109.1 PPG 47.7 RPG 24.0 APG
home team logo Trail Blazers 51-29 109.7 PPG 45.2 RPG 19.8 APG
Key Players
G. Harris SG 12.9 PPG 2.8 RPG 2.2 APG 42.4 FG%
D. Lillard PG 25.8 PPG 4.6 RPG 6.9 APG 44.4 FG%
Top Scorers
G. Harris SG 18 PTS 2 REB 1 AST
D. Lillard PG 30 PTS 6 REB 5 AST
44.2 FG% 46.1
39.4 3PT FG% 32.1
55.0 FT% 82.8
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
G. Harris 18 2 1 8/12 1/2 1/3 1 23 2 0 0 0 2 0 24
T. Lyles 15 9 2 6/12 3/7 0/1 3 27 0 0 2 3 6 -3 26
M. Plumlee 10 11 6 5/12 0/0 0/0 6 31 1 3 1 3 8 -6 36
W. Barton 9 6 2 3/9 1/4 2/2 2 22 0 0 1 0 6 -3 18
M. Morris 9 1 3 2/7 1/3 4/5 2 24 1 0 0 0 1 -1 17
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
G. Harris 18 2 1 8/12 1/2 1/3 1 23 2 0 0 0 2 0 24
T. Lyles 15 9 2 6/12 3/7 0/1 3 27 0 0 2 3 6 -3 26
M. Plumlee 10 11 6 5/12 0/0 0/0 6 31 1 3 1 3 8 -6 36
W. Barton 9 6 2 3/9 1/4 2/2 2 22 0 0 1 0 6 -3 18
M. Morris 9 1 3 2/7 1/3 4/5 2 24 1 0 0 0 1 -1 17
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
M. Beasley 15 3 2 6/14 2/6 1/3 2 24 1 0 1 2 1 -7 22
T. Craig 13 4 2 4/7 3/4 2/2 1 23 0 1 0 1 3 -7 22
I. Thomas 10 0 3 4/14 1/5 1/4 3 23 2 0 1 0 0 -6 17
J. Hernangomez 7 4 2 3/6 1/2 0/0 3 23 1 0 0 1 3 -4 16
T. Lydon 2 1 1 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 5
J. Vanderbilt 0 1 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 3 12 1 0 4 1 0 +2 -2
P. Millsap - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Goodwin - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Jokic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Welsh - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Murray - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Porter Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 108 42 24 42/95 13/33 11/20 26 235 9 4 10 12 30 -35 201
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
D. Lillard 30 6 5 9/19 5/11 7/7 1 37 0 0 1 1 5 +11 45
A. Aminu 23 11 0 8/13 1/4 6/7 1 26 0 1 1 3 8 +7 34
E. Kanter 11 13 1 5/13 0/0 1/2 3 27 1 0 3 7 6 +6 24
C. McCollum 9 6 6 3/13 1/5 2/2 3 24 1 0 0 2 4 +9 28
M. Harkless 4 5 0 2/2 0/0 0/0 4 21 0 0 1 0 5 0 8
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
D. Lillard 30 6 5 9/19 5/11 7/7 1 37 0 0 1 1 5 +11 45
A. Aminu 23 11 0 8/13 1/4 6/7 1 26 0 1 1 3 8 +7 34
E. Kanter 11 13 1 5/13 0/0 1/2 3 27 1 0 3 7 6 +6 24
C. McCollum 9 6 6 3/13 1/5 2/2 3 24 1 0 0 2 4 +9 28
M. Harkless 4 5 0 2/2 0/0 0/0 4 21 0 0 1 0 5 0 8
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
S. Curry 11 2 0 5/9 1/4 0/0 0 23 0 1 2 0 2 -4 12
R. Hood 11 3 3 4/7 1/2 2/3 1 26 0 0 3 1 2 +8 17
E. Turner 8 6 6 1/4 0/0 6/8 1 21 2 1 2 1 5 +3 27
Z. Collins 6 4 1 3/7 0/1 0/0 1 18 1 2 3 2 2 -1 12
J. Layman 2 2 0 1/2 0/1 0/0 1 11 0 0 0 0 2 -4 4
M. Leonard - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Nurkic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Labissiere - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Trent Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Simons - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 115 58 22 41/89 9/28 24/29 16 234 5 5 16 17 41 +35 211