Trail Blazers-Nuggets Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 01, 2013
The Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers each ended last season in disappointing fashion, and the 2013-14 campaign hasn't exactly gotten off to a rousing start, either. Both teams will look to bounce back from season-opening losses as Denver seeks a 10th straight home victory over Portland on Friday night. The Nuggets won a franchise-record 57 games before being knocked out of the playoffs by Golden State in the first round, leading to the firing of Coach of the Year George Karl. The Brian Shaw era didn't begin so well Wednesday, as Denver lost 90-88 at Sacramento. Ty Lawson, playing despite a groin injury, scored 20 points but missed a potential tying layup in the closing seconds. J.J. Hickson, Randy Foye and Andre Miller added 12 points apiece for the Nuggets, who committed 19 turnovers and trailed by as many as 13. They also played without Wilson Chandler, who is day to day with a hamstring injury. "Execution of small details. We have such a small margin of error, we have to do all the little things," Shaw told the team's official website. "We should win that game, but 19 turnovers for 21 points on top of those small details that we didn't take care of is not going to get it done for us." Portland didn't give itself much of a chance in its opener as it trailed by 14 at the end of the first quarter before falling 104-91 at Phoenix on Wednesday. It marked the team's 14th straight loss dating back to last season. "It wasn't a help that we got off to a slow offensive start," said reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, who scored 32 points. "We dug a hole and then got back into the game but they turned it up on us." Coach Terry Stotts wasn't pleased either. ''All the things that we've been working on, we had a setback,'' Stotts said. ''Transition defense, we were slow reacting to that.'' LaMarcus Aldridge added 28 points, but no other Blazer scored in double figures. Portland got only 12 points from the bench after averaging 18.5 from its substitutes last season, by far the worst mark in the league. "It's one game, we have to take the good and the bad," Lillard said. "We did some things well, but obviously we've got some things we need to go back and fix. The good thing is we have another game Friday." Playing in Denver hasn't gone very well for Portland in recent years, though. The Blazers have lost 18 of the last 19 meetings in the Mile High City, including both last season when they dropped all three matchups with the Nuggets. Hickson was on the losing end of those defeats while with Portland for his only season. He signed a three-year, $15 million deal with Denver in July. "I'm excited to play my previous team. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't," Hickson said. "But I'm not going to go out and do anything that I don't (normally) do. I'm going to play my game and try to get a win." Lillard scored 30 points as Aldridge sat out the most recent meeting April 14, when Evan Fournier finished with a career-high 24 points to help the Nuggets win 118-109.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Kevin Durant has...RUSSELL MANIA!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Texas Tech using fake Twitter accounts to track players

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker