Lillard lifts Trail Blazers to win over Nuggets

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[November 14, 2016]  PORTLAND, Ore -- Damian Lillard scored 32 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers past the Denver Nuggets 112-105 Sunday night at the Moda Center.

Lillard also had eight rebounds and six assists for the Trail Blazers (7-4), who won for the fifth time in six outings. Backcourt mate CJ McCollum added 21 points for Portland.

Danilo Gallinari and Jamal Murray each scored 19 points for the Nuggets (3-7), who lost their fourth straight game. Kenneth Faried collected 18 points and 14 rebounds for Denver.

Faried had 15 points and eight rebounds as Denver took a 57-50 lead into intermission. Lillard scored 16 points in the first half.

Portland opened the third quarter on a 23-7 run to go ahead 73-64. The Blazers outscored the Nuggets 36-15 in the quarter to seize an 86-72 advantage heading into the final period. Gallinari's 3-pointer and a free throw by Juancho Hernangomez got the Nuggets to within 101-93 with two minutes left.

But Lillard knocked down two foul shots with 1:33 remaining to make it 103-93. Meyers Leonard followed with a jumper for a 105-93 Portland lead, and it was over.

With Faried leading the way, Denver jumped to a 23-15 advantage. Faried had 15 points and seven rebounds as the Nuggets took a 28-20 edge into the second quarter. Lillard scored 12 points in the first quarter for the Blazers.

Denver extended the margin to 48-31 midway through the second quarter. Portland used a 15-4 spurt to get to within 52-46, and the Nuggets settled for a seven-point advantage at the break.

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Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) dribbles around Denver Nuggets guard Jameer Nelson (1) during the third quarter at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

NOTES: Denver was without G/F Will Barton (ankle) and G Gary Harris (ankle). G Jameer Nelson was expected to start in Harris' place. ... Portland F Al-Farouq Aminu (calf) missed his third straight game. ... Denver entered the game ranked third in the NBA in rebound percentage; Portland ranked last. "It has to be a focus for everybody on the court, whether blocking your man out or going to the ball," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "It has to be a team effort, and everybody has to take a serious look at it." ... The Nuggets rank last in the league in turnovers per game (18.1) after totaling 15 in a 106-95 home loss to Detroit Saturday night. "We had eight turnovers (that resulted in) 13 Detroit points in the first quarter," Denver coach Michael Malone said. "That's the biggest reason we got down early." ... The Blazers are 3-1 in games decided by three points or fewer, including a 122-120 overtime win over Sacramento Friday night. "We've won more games by three or less than anybody in the league," Stotts said. "We've been able to find a way to win close games. When it's all said and done at the end of a season, that makes a difference."

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