Found April 14, 2013 on
Portland Trail Blazers
Andre Iguodala scored 28 points and the Denver Nuggets set an NBA franchise record with their 55th win Sunday, beating the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers 118-109 but losing another starter.
On the day Ty Lawson (right heel) returned to Denver's starting lineup for the first time since March 27 and posted 12 points and 10 assists in an encouraging 31 minutes, forward Kenneth Faried sprained his left ankle in the opening minutes while driving for a layup.
X-rays were negative, and the Nuggets said he's day to day.
Rookie Evan Fournier scored 24 points in his second career start, sinking a pair of crucial 3-pointers in the closing minutes after the Trail Blazers had cut a 20-point deficit to 104-101 with 3:33 left. Reserve Anthony Randolph added 18 points.
Rookie Damian Lillard led Portland with 30 points but also had eight of the Trail Blazers' 23 turnovers as they lost their 11th straight game.
Faried crumpled to the floor, covering his face and holding his left ankle as the Nuggets called a timeout less than three minutes into the game. The Pepsi Center crowd grew quiet - the way it had 10 days earlier when forward Danilo Gallinari blew out his left ACL driving to the same hoop.
Teammates Quincy Miller and Anthony Randolph helped Faried as he gingerly walked off the court, a towel covering his face, and then was taken for X-rays.
Faried, who was averaging 11.7 points and a team-best 9.3 rebounds, was replaced by Wilson Chandler, who had been starting with Gallinari out but was returned to the bench Sunday by coach George Karl in hopes of getting him more minutes and fewer fouls.
Portland was without three starters: LaMarcus Aldridge (right ankle), Wesley Matthews (right ankle) and Nicolas Batum (right shoulder), so coach Terry Stotts started four rookies.
Still, Karl was his usual nervous self before tipoff.
''It's a wounded animal team. Every NBA team can figure it out and change their destiny pretty quickly,'' he explained. ''There's a lot of young kids on the court trying to show they deserve to be in the NBA and they deserve to be in Portland. I'm sure they're going to be hungry and aggressive.''
The Nuggets went 54-28 in both 1987-88 and 2008-09, when they reached the Western Conference finals. By improving to an NBA-best 37-3 at home, they also set a record for most home wins in a season since joining the NBA 37 years ago. Denver went 36-5 at home under Larry Brown in 1976-77.
And by extending their franchise-best winning streak at home to 22 straight games, the Nuggets moved a game ahead of the Clippers and Grizzlies in the race for the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
The Nuggets (55-25) can clinch homecourt advantage in the first round with a win at Milwaukee on Monday night or a victory over Phoenix at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night.
But they might have to start the playoffs without Faried, something that could derail their dreams of a deep playoff run.
Fournier scored 13 first-half points as the Nuggets built a 67-50 halftime lead. Lawson had just one bucket but eight assists by halftime. Denver built its lead to 83-63 before Karl's concerns were realized and the Trail Blazers made a game of it.
Portland used a 9-0 run in the third quarter to cut the deficit to single digits, and the Trail Blazers pulled to 100-96 on Lillard's two free throws with 4:56 left, capping a 12-2 run.
J.J. Hickson's free throw with 3:33 left made it 104-101, but that was as close as it got.
It was 106-102 when Lawson sank two free throws and Fournier swished a 3-pointer from the left corner to give Denver some breathing room.
Fournier's 3-pointer from the other side made it 118-107 with 47 seconds left.
Notes: The Nuggets nearly scored off an inbound pass with three-tenths of a second left in the first half, but JaVale McGee's tip of Iguodala's long pass rattled out as the horn sounded. ... Asked before tipoff what he wanted to get out of the last three regular season games, Karl said, ''Wins, defensive focus and playoff intensity.'' He also said he'd like to get Iguodala and PG Andre Miller some rest after playing heavy minutes this month.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Denver Nuggets and Kenneth Faried received good news yesterday, when an MRI determined that he had suffered a sprained ankle and not something more serious. As a result, Faried is expected to be sidelined for two games, the team has announced.#Nuggets F @kennethfaried35 had MRI today on left ankle. No fracture. Sprain of anterior talofibular ligament. Will miss next 2 games...
Another Denver Nuggets starter suffered what appeared to be a significant injury last night, as Kenneth Faried rolled his ankle and had to be carried off the court by two of his teammates.Faried sustained his injury early in last night’s contest against the Portland Trail Blazers. He was heading to the basket, but he stepped on the foot of Will Barton in the process. After rolling...
The Denver Nuggets are guaranteed to enjoy home court advantage throughout the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Ty Lawson sank the game winner against the Milwaukee Bucks to get it done 112-111.
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Three weeks ago, Denver Nuggets coach George Karl marveled at his team's depth, suggesting, ''we can even sustain injuries and be OK.''
The Nuggets have been testing that theory ever since.
First, point guard Ty Lawson went down with a painful right heel injury. Then, forward Danilo Gallinari was lost for the season with a torn left ACL, and on Sunday top rebounder...
The Nuggets will be without Kenneth Faried for their final two games after an MRI revealed a sprain of the anterior talofibular ligament, but the second-year forward, who suffered the injury during Sunday’s game against the Blazers, is set on returning for the playoffs in less than a week.
According to Denver Nuggets:
Within two hours of spraining his left ankle Sunday, Denver...
Kenneth Faried left Denver's game against Portland after spraining his left ankle in the opening minutes Sunday.
X-rays were negative and the Nuggets said he's day to day.
Faried's ankle buckled when he went in for a layup less than three minutes into the game, and he crumpled to the floor, covering his face. He needed his teammates' help as he gingerly walked off...
Point guard Ty Lawson returned to the Denver Nuggets’ lineup last night for their contest against the Dallas Mavericks.Lawson had missed the previous five games with a right foot injury. He didn’t get the start – as Andre Miller continued filling that role for the time being – but he did get roughly 20 minutes of playing time off the bench. He is expected to play over the...
Ty Lawson scored 26 points, including a jumper in the lane with 9.3 seconds left, and the Denver Nuggets clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 112-111 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.
Wilson Chandler added 21 points for the Nuggets, who can secure the No. 3 seed in the West with one more victory or two losses by the Los Angeles...
While they lost their chance to finish as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets still have plenty left to play for during the final week of the season.
Still fighting for home-court advantage in the first round, the Nuggets will try to set franchise records with their 37th home win and 55th victory overall on Sunday when they take on the free-falling Portland...
Monday night’s Bucks-Nuggets game had quite the crazy finish. Monta Ellis completed a clutch 4-point play with 14.2 seconds remaining, hitting a three and getting the foul to put the Bucks up 1, but Ty Lawson countered with a stepback game winner, picking up right where he left off in his second game back from a heel injury. The Nuggets’ 112-110 victory clinched them home court...