EditorsNote: third graf, change nine games to eight games; 7th graf, change nine minutes to 10 minutes
Gary Harris scored 27 points as the visiting Denver Nuggets defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 113-112 Friday night.
Paul Millsap contributed 22 points and 10 rebounds and Nikola Jokic added 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds as the Nuggets won their fifth straight game.
CJ McCollum bombed in 33 points but missed a jump shot that would have been the game-winner at the final horn as the Trail Blazers fell for the sixth time in nine games.
Al-Farouq Aminu chipped in a season-high 20 points for Portland, which trailed by as many as 17 points in the second quarter.
Millsap had 16 points, Harris 14 and Jokic 13 as Denver stormed to a 68-53 lead at halftime. The Nuggets shot 52.1 percent from the field, including 9 for 16 from 3-point range, and forced Portland into nine turnovers, committing only two of their own. McCollum scored 14 points for the Blazers.
Portland trimmed the difference to 79-72 on a tip-in by Jusuf Nurkic midway through the third quarter. Damian Lillard sank a long 3-pointer to close the gap to 88-85, but Trey Lyles knocked down a 35-foot bomb at the horn to give Denver a 91-85 edge heading into the final period.
The Nuggets led 96-87 with 10 minutes remaining, but the Blazers scored six in a row to get to within 96-93. McCollum sank a fadeaway jumper to cut the difference to 98-97, but the Nuggets followed with a 7-0 run. Monte Morris buried a 3, Harris converted a layup and Millsap sank a rebound basket to up the Nuggets’ advantage to 105-97 with 3:58 remaining.
Aminu scored on a put-back to cut the margin to 105-99, and McCollum’s long jumper made it 105-101 with 2:45 to play. Harris made a runner to hike Denver’s advantage to 107-101 with 2:26 left.
McCollum knocked down three foul shots to make it 107-104 with 1:58 to go. Harris hit 1 of 2 at the line to increase Denver’s lead to 108-104 with 1:40 remaining. Nurkic scored on a layup to get Portland to within 108-106 with 1:30 to play.
McCollum’s step-back jumper tied it at 108-108 with 55.8 seconds left. Jamal Murray sank a pair at the line to push Denver ahead 110-108 with 44.1 seconds to go. McCollum scored on a reverse layup to tie it again at 110-110 with 37.1 seconds remaining.
Harris buried a trey from the corner to give Denver a 113-110 lead with 16.5 seconds to play. McCollum scored on a dunk with 10.2 seconds remaining, then the Nuggets turned the ball over with 5.7 ticks left. After a timeout, McCollum missed a 15-foot shot, and the game was the Nuggets’.
—Field Level Media