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Harris has 27 and Nuggets edge Blazers 113-112

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) With some three minutes left in a tight game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Paul Millsap gathered the Denver Nuggets for a pep talk.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone set the scene, explaining that Millsap ''went out and grabbed the guys in the huddle and said `We've talked about being a playoff team but if we're really going to be a playoff team this is one we need to get.'''

The Nuggets, who had led by as many as 17 in the game, went on to withstand a frenzied final few minutes to edge the Blazers 113-112 on Friday night. It was Denver's fifth straight win.

Millsap finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds while Gary Harris, who missed Denver's last two games with a sore left ankle, had 27 points - including a crucial 3-pointer in the final minute.

But Harris also pointed to the words the normally reserved Millsap said to the team in the huddle as the difference in the game.

''He said if we're gonna be a playoff team it's time to show everybody. For him to open his mouth like that it shocked a lot of people,'' Harris said. ''That was big and it got us over the hump. He's our vet. He's our leader.''

CJ McCollum had 33 points, but missed a jumper at the final buzzer as the Blazers came up just short. Jusuf Nurkic added 17 points and 11 rebounds for Portland, which has lost four of its last five games.

The Blazers started to chip away at Denver's lead late in the third quarter. McCollum's jumper got Portland within 98-97 with 6:04 left but Monte Morris answered with a 3-pointer for the Nuggets and the Blazers couldn't get any closer until Nurkic's basket with 1:30 left counted on a goaltending call to close the gap to 108-106.

McCollum added step-back jumper to tie it at 108 with less than a minute left.

Jamal Murray made a pair of free throws for Denver before McCollum came through again with a layup to re-tie it with 37.1 seconds left - but Harris nailed a corner 3-pointer to put the Nuggets in front 113-110.

McCollum dunked on the other end and Murray was called out of bounds after the inbound to give Portland back the ball. After a review, the call was overturned.

The game clock was re-set to 6.9 seconds and Murray was again called out of bounds on the inbound, but McCollum's jumper at the buzzer was off to end it.

''I saw CJ and he got a good look, it just didn't fall,'' Damian Lillard said about the final play. ''A lot of things we could have done to not be in that position, but we had our shot. It just didn't fall.''

It was the first of a five-game road trip for the Nuggets, who were coming off of a 117-85 victory at home over the L.A. Lakers.

Harris hit a 3-pointer that capped a 14-2 run that put the Nuggets in front 28-17 late in the first quarter. Denver led by as many as 14 points in the opening period.

Meyers Leonard had an emphatic dunk over Mason Plumlee as Portland struggled to close the gap. McCollum got the Blazers within single digits with a layup that made it 53-45, but Harris' layup and free throw extended Denver's lead again.

Millsap had 16 first-half points and the Nuggets went into the break with a 68-53 lead. Portland was hurt by 10 turnovers.

The Trail Blazers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 115-112 victory over Orlando on Wednesday. Lillard had 41 points in the game, including a franchise-record 10 3-pointers. But against the Nuggets he was cold at the start with just five first-half points. He finished with 15.

TIP INS:

Nuggets: It was the first of four games between the two teams this season. Denver won last year's series 3-1. ... The Nuggets held opponents under 100 points in each of the previous three games.

Trail Blazers: Nurkic played for the Nuggets for more than two seasons before he was traded to Portland in early 2017. ... Portland has lost four straight to the Nuggets.

ENEMY TERRITORY: ''I like when the crowds really going. It gets me going. It gets me excited to hush them up. I've always been that guy. I like playing in hostile environments. When they get loud it gets me going. It's amazing,'' Harris said.

UP NEXT

The Nuggets visit Toronto on Monday.

The Trail Blazers visit San Antonio on Sunday.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
N. Jokic
15 C
D. Lillard
0 PG
34.9 Min. Per Game 34.9
27.1 Pts. Per Game 27.1
6.0 Ast. Per Game 6.0
5.3 Reb. Per Game 5.3
47.3 Field Goal % 44.0
46.4 Three Point % 44.1
83.0 Free Throw % 89.0
  CJ McCollum missed jump shot 0:00
  Out of bounds turnover on Jamal Murray 0:05
+ 2 CJ McCollum made driving dunk, assist by Meyers Leonard 0:10
+ 3 Gary Harris made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 0:16
+ 2 CJ McCollum made reverse layup 0:37
+ 1 Jamal Murray made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:44
+ 1 Jamal Murray made 1st of 2 free throws 0:44
  Shooting foul on CJ McCollum 0:44
+ 2 CJ McCollum made fade-away jump shot 0:56
  Defensive rebound by Al-Farouq Aminu 1:08
  Nikola Jokic missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:10
Team Stats
Points 113 112
Field Goals 40-87 (46.0%) 45-85 (52.9%)
3-Pointers 14-30 (46.7%) 6-22 (27.3%)
Free Throws 19-26 (73.1%) 16-21 (76.2%)
Total Rebounds 48 51
Offensive 13 12
Defensive 28 32
Team 7 7
Assists 28 19
Steals 11 7
Blocks 3 6
Turnovers 11 14
Fouls 21 23
Technicals 0 0
22 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST
33 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST
1234T
away team logo Nuggets 15-7 38302322113
home team logo Trail Blazers 13-9 26273227112
Team Stats
away team logo Nuggets 15-7 109.1 PPG 47.7 RPG 24.0 APG
home team logo Trail Blazers 13-9 109.7 PPG 45.2 RPG 19.8 APG
Key Players
G. Harris SG 14.2 PPG 4.1 RPG 2.3 APG 46.2 FG%
C. McCollum SG 24.7 PPG 5.0 RPG 3.7 APG 44.0 FG%
Top Scorers
G. Harris SG 27 PTS 3 REB 3 AST
C. McCollum SG 33 PTS 4 REB 1 AST
46.0 FG% 52.9
46.7 3PT FG% 27.3
73.1 FT% 76.2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
G. Harris 27 3 3 9/21 4/10 5/6 4 36 1 0 1 0 3 0 36
P. Millsap 22 10 4 9/16 2/3 2/2 5 36 4 0 3 5 5 +9 41
N. Jokic 15 6 8 7/12 0/2 1/1 3 32 1 1 1 3 3 +2 38
J. Murray 10 2 6 2/13 1/4 5/7 1 35 1 0 2 0 2 +6 23
J. Hernangomez 9 11 1 2/4 2/2 3/4 1 28 0 1 2 2 9 +9 21
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
G. Harris 27 3 3 9/21 4/10 5/6 4 36 1 0 1 0 3 0 36
P. Millsap 22 10 4 9/16 2/3 2/2 5 36 4 0 3 5 5 +9 41
N. Jokic 15 6 8 7/12 0/2 1/1 3 32 1 1 1 3 3 +2 38
J. Murray 10 2 6 2/13 1/4 5/7 1 35 1 0 2 0 2 +6 23
J. Hernangomez 9 11 1 2/4 2/2 3/4 1 28 0 1 2 2 9 +9 21
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
M. Morris 16 4 2 7/8 2/3 0/0 1 30 0 0 1 1 3 -6 23
T. Lyles 8 2 1 2/7 2/4 2/4 2 12 1 0 1 0 2 0 12
M. Plumlee 3 3 3 1/3 0/0 1/2 3 14 2 1 0 2 1 -7 15
M. Beasley 3 0 0 1/2 1/1 0/0 1 13 1 0 0 0 0 -6 4
T. Craig 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 -2 0
I. Thomas - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Barton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Goodwin - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Akoon-Purcell - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Welsh - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lydon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Vanderbilt - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Porter Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 113 41 28 40/87 14/30 19/26 21 237 11 3 11 13 28 +5 213
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
C. McCollum 33 4 1 14/21 0/4 5/5 5 37 1 1 3 1 3 +4 38
A. Aminu 20 7 1 7/9 2/4 4/4 1 28 1 0 1 0 7 +5 29
J. Nurkic 17 11 1 7/15 0/1 3/5 3 28 2 2 1 5 6 0 33
D. Lillard 15 1 8 6/16 3/8 0/0 1 39 0 0 1 0 1 -4 31
M. Harkless 2 3 0 1/4 0/1 0/0 2 14 2 0 2 1 2 0 5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
C. McCollum 33 4 1 14/21 0/4 5/5 5 37 1 1 3 1 3 +4 38
A. Aminu 20 7 1 7/9 2/4 4/4 1 28 1 0 1 0 7 +5 29
J. Nurkic 17 11 1 7/15 0/1 3/5 3 28 2 2 1 5 6 0 33
D. Lillard 15 1 8 6/16 3/8 0/0 1 39 0 0 1 0 1 -4 31
M. Harkless 2 3 0 1/4 0/1 0/0 2 14 2 0 2 1 2 0 5
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
M. Leonard 11 4 3 4/7 1/2 2/3 3 26 0 1 1 1 3 -1 21
Z. Collins 5 5 1 2/5 0/1 1/1 4 11 0 1 0 3 2 -8 13
S. Curry 4 1 0 2/3 0/0 0/0 0 16 0 0 0 1 0 +4 5
N. Stauskas 3 1 0 1/3 0/1 1/1 1 9 0 0 1 0 1 +1 3
E. Turner 2 7 4 1/2 0/0 0/2 3 26 1 1 4 0 7 -6 15
J. Layman - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Swanigan - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Baldwin IV - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Trent Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Simons - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 112 44 19 45/85 6/22 16/21 23 234 7 6 14 12 32 -5 193