Found December 19, 2012 on
After coming up clutch over the weekend, Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers find themselves on the verge of their first four-game winning streak in two seasons.
Keeping things going, though, could prove difficult with LaMarcus Aldridge sidelined.
Hoping to overcome Aldridge's absence, the Trail Blazers try for an eighth home win in nine matchups against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
After scoring a season-high 29 points in a 98-90 win over San Antonio last Thursday, Lillard made a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left to lift Portland past New Orleans 95-94 on Sunday.
"I was excited to win the game," Lillard said. "We had a big lead, we let them fight back and tie the game up and we were looking at overtime, so I was kind of relieved and excited at the same time."
Unfortunately for the Blazers (11-12), Sunday's victory came at a cost. Aldridge, averaging a team-high 21.0 points and 8.0 rebounds, rolled his ankle and has been ruled out for this game.
"Obviously that's a lot of minutes, a lot of points and rebounds and our best player," coach Terry Stotts told the team's official website. "Different players are going to have to do different things, but we've done it before when other players have sat out ... everybody's got to ratchet it up a little bit to find a way to win a game.
"When you have injuries as you're going to have in the NBA season it creates opportunities for other guys to play. I've got confidence in everybody on our roster."
Portland could also be without Wesley Matthews again. Averaging 15.5 points, Matthews returned Sunday following a two-game absence due to a hip flexor but lasted less than four minutes.
While playing without Aldridge and Matthews isn't ideal, the Blazers have proven plenty formidable on their own court of late, taking six of seven - including three in a row while holding opponents to an average of 86.0 points. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise to a Denver team that's been limited to 42.1 percent shooting during a five-game skid at the Rose Garden.
"Everybody's going to have to step up (Thursday)," said Blazers swingman Nicolas Batum, who had 11 points, a career-high 10 assists, five rebounds, five steals and five blocks against the Hornets. "We have to step up. ... We play at a high tempo because we know Denver loves to run."
The Nuggets (14-12) carry plenty of momentum into Thursday's showdown, having averaged 111.0 points while shooting 49.8 percent during a three-game run.
The Nuggets posted their highest scoring output of the season in Sunday's 122-97 win at Sacramento, then beat San Antonio 112-106 two nights later.
Danilo Gallinari scored a season-high 28 points Tuesday to lead six players in double figures for Denver.
"With the team we have we can have a different protagonist every game," Gallinari told the NBA's official website. "Tonight it was me, maybe the next night it will be someone else. I was happy to knock down those shots."
Kenneth Faried also came up big despite being sick, recording 19 points and 11 rebounds.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
'OUTTA MY WAY!'
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard drove straight down the lane and threw down a monster one-handed jam that brought the Rose Garden crowd to their feet during Thursday night's game against the Denver Nuggets. Two Nuggets defenders were in position under the basket, but they both seemed to get out of the way as Lillard approached the hoop, allowing him to score easily...
Portland Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey stepped onto the court with Damian Lillard before Thursday night's tip-off and the crowd, a crowd that hasn't had much to celebrate the last few years, let itself be heard.
The moment was meant to present the point guard with Western Conference Rookie of the Month honors, but the meaning behind the quick, intense burst of...
Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard usually keeps to the rookie script, rarely showing too much excitement on the court or off it.
But when he launched the game-winning 3-pointer against New Orleans late last week, he celebrated by high-fiving a random fan seated near the bench.
The 22-year-old has emerged as the NBA's early Rookie of the Year favorite, handling his debut season...
We have told you before that you need to look out for Damian Lillard, and now that he is pretty much everywhere you can’t ignore him. Lillard not only had 12 points and 10 assists in the Portland Trail Blazers 101-93 win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night, but he also had the dunk of the night. We will ignore the fact that there were only three games played on Thursday...
Which is your favorite?
The Portland Trail Blazers have the potential to be one of the most exciting, young basketball teams in the entire NBA. Their roster is full of energetic players, and the athleticism displayed on the floor is the reason they have highlights almost every night whether they win or lose.
The Blazers have made plays all year long, but here is a look at the top...
It’s no simple task to accurately rank this year’s Portland Trail Blazers‘ squad, and their performances over the last week exemplify this statement.
With games against Toronto, San Antonio and New Orleans on tap for Portland, it seemed feasible they’d be able to escape the week with at least two wins. San Antonio possessed (at the time) the best record in the...
Mile high visits Rip City
The Portland Trail Blazers will play host to the Denver Nuggets Thursday night, and a win at the Rose Garden would put the team back to .500 for the 2012-13 season.
Matchup: Portland (11-12) vs. Denver Nuggets (14-12)
Venue: Rose Garden Arena
Time: 7:00 PM PT
Date: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012
Coming off a dramatic win against the New Orleans Hornets, Portland...
Lillard’s heroics bring big win
The Headline: Damian Lillard hits the game winner and Nicolas Batum posts a 5×5 as Portland tops New Oreleans 95-94.
New Orleans Hornets vs. Portland Trail Blazers
When: 9:00 ET, Sunday, December 16, 2012
Where: Rose Garden (Portland)
Officials: David Guthrie, Kevin Scott, Mike Callahan
Batum fills the stat sheet
You know how much NBA I watched last night? Zero. Z-E-R-O.
However, I have no problem the next morning cruising Reddit and checking out all the CRAZY dunks from the night before. I picture single guys, living in a terrible apartment, anxiously watching NBA games for CRAZY dunks, some sort of CRAZY high-five or some coach go CRAZY on a ref. Those lonely guys then upload the videos...
Kenneth Faried says leading up to the 2011 NBA draft, the Portland Trail Blazers told him he was their pick. But when the Blazers came up at No. 21, they shocked many with their selection of Duke point guard, Nolan Smith. Denver then proceeded to take Faried at N0. 22. So how does one of the best young power forwards in the NBA feel about the Blazers now? Well, he’s not a fan....
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard went HAM last night on the Denver Nuggets. In addition to his double double he dropped a huge dunk for a man standing 6'3 and the announcers loved every second of it. Check out the huge throw down in the video below.
The T Blazers tackled the Nuggets 101-93.
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J.J. Hickson had 18 points and 18 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets 101-93 on Thursday night.
Nicolas Batum had 22 points to give the Blazers their first four-game winning streak of the season despite missing forward LaMarcus Aldridge because of a sprained left ankle.
The Nuggets were 0 for 22 from 3-point range...
The 2013 Summer season will see the Adirondack Trail Blazers competing in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. The Trail Blazers have signed Eli Anderson of Northern Illinois University. Eli is a 6-0/220 pound RHP from Gleniew, IL.
This past season for the Huskies, Eli went 2-2 and had a 6.79 era in 50.1 innings pitched. He walked just 11 batters and he fanned 47 during...
No doubt about it, Damian Lillard, rookie point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers, is something special and the obvious early candidate to win Rookie of the Year. Watch the moves he puts on Ty Lawson and the Denver Nuggets late in the fourth quarter on Thursday night as he drives past Lawson to throw [...]The post Damian Lillard Drives Past Ty Lawson, Throws It Down (Video) appeared...