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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Carmelo Anthony trying to save marriage with wife La La

Report: Falcons ‘plotting a potential move up’ in first round

Yoenis Cespedes exits game with left hamstring pull

Marcus Maye declined invite to NFL draft to attend graduation

49ers GM was classmates with this top NFL Draft prospect

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Colts' David Parry pleads guilty, faces three years in prison

Report: Former Washington GM running scouting service, advising NFL teams

NFL to honor late Steelers owner Dan Rooney during draft

Jimmy Garoppolo not sweating trade rumors as draft nears

Forrest Lamp signs deal to endorse lamp manufacturer

Tom Hanks taking ‘NFL moratorium’ when Raiders leave Oakland for Vegas

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Box Score 4/27: Waiting for Goodell to call our name

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

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

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

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