Blazers vs. Nuggets: Play-by-play, highlights and reactions

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The Portland Trail Blazers (16-24) play against the Denver Nuggets (19-19) at Ball Arena

Game Time: 10:00 PM EST on Thursday January 13, 2022

Portland Trail Blazers 55, Denver Nuggets 72 (Half)

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Michael Singer @msinger
Nuggets tally 19 assists and 42 points in the paint that first half. They’re cruising. But a good half doesn’t mean much now-a-days. Clips had 28 Tuesday night.
Can almost bet you Malone is challenging them to bring it in the second half right now. – 11:07 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Can’t stop (dunking), won’t stop (dunking) pic.twitter.com/rTjhWKuvBm11:07 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Denver should not feel comfortable at all up 17 on Portland at home despite all their injuries. They need a strong second half. – 11:06 PM

Katy Winge @katywinge
Jeff Green dunks on repeat tysm – 11:06 PM

Katy Winge @katywinge
Nuggets with a 17 point lead at the half. pic.twitter.com/Cp4eq3kxWw11:05 PM

Duvalier Johnson @DuvalierJohnson
The Nuggets appear to be in complete control over the short-handed Trailblazers as they lead 72-55.
Jeff Green also ended the half with a poster dunk over Jusuf Nurkic and— pic.twitter.com/KMSUw9DAOS11:03 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Halftime rotations for the Nuggets as they lead the Blazers 72-55.
-Jeff Green has been an absolute monster. Dunking on everyone
-Jokić with an easy 13 points and 6 assists
-Bench was fantastic, led by their point guard, who was a +14 pic.twitter.com/rH5wLud8BD11:03 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Back after a quick break! pic.twitter.com/wo1AuonlOx11:01 PM

Portland Trail Blazers @trailblazers
Halftime in Colorado.
#RipCity pic.twitter.com/rC7FaKC7rr11:01 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Jeff Green walks to the locker room with a giant grin on his face.
That’s 15 points and four dunks in 17 minutes of work. – 11:01 PM

Casey Holdahl @CHold
Nuggets 72, Blazers 55: halftime. 14 points, 4 rebounds for @Nassir Little. 10 points, 6 assists for @Dennis Smith. 10 points, 4 assists for @Ben McLemore. 9 points, 5 assists for @Jusuf Nurkic. – 11:01 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
Nuggets go for 72 first-half points tonight vs. Portland after scoring just 85 total Tuesday against the Clippers. – 11:00 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Jeff Green just decided to be 2011 Dwight Howard and dunk everything and it’s working really well. – 11:00 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Jeff just won’t stop dunking – 11:00 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Imagine having to guard this
@BallCorpHQ | #MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/tCw6Lqz3Yz10:56 PM

Gordon Gross @GMoneyNuggs
Me: Nuggets are playing great, lots of energy and converting possessions into points
Also Me: They’re up by 19, 6 more and they hit the dreaded Twenty Five Point Lead and forget how to play basketball.
Just let me enjoy this, brain. – 10:55 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
The Aaron Gordon/Nikola Jokic chemistry continues to shine. – 10:52 PM

Dwight Jaynes @dwightjaynes
Tonight on TNT: “The good, the bad and the ugly” starring Nassir Little. – 10:45 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Nikola had *the* reaction to Jeff’s jam 😂 pic.twitter.com/AmOB0UE1by10:45 PM

Gordon Gross @GMoneyNuggs
Bones and Nnaji rebounding is key for both of them. When they just linger around the perimeter it’s not good, but they both seem to get into the game better when they’re working from the rim to the 3 point line on both sides. Standing in a corner is not for them. – 10:44 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Really like the Jeff Green/Zeke Nnaji combo. Also like the Aaron Gordon/Zeke Nnaji combo. Zeke is playing his way into trustable status lately. – 10:44 PM

Casey Holdahl @CHold
Tony Montana was Cuban, not Argentinian, Denver PA guy – 10:42 PM

Portland Trail Blazers @trailblazers
Dennis the menace 💪 pic.twitter.com/uOcM01uaQB10:40 PM

Casey Holdahl @CHold
Blazers are already up against it and going 3-of-8 from the free throw line sure isn’t going to help – 10:40 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
What do you have against that rim, @Jeff Green?? pic.twitter.com/EdIlF7wdlB10:38 PM

Adam Mares @Adam_Mares
The red headband really gives Zeke Nnaji a Rambo vibe. – 10:36 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
Who has more poster dunks than Jeff Green this season? That’s a serious question. – 10:34 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Don’t do it to ’em like that Facu 😱 pic.twitter.com/hMkT6w2Bhf10:34 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Jeff Green is rising up to poster anyone and eveyone these days. – 10:34 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
UNCLE JEFF JAM – 10:34 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Plenty of points so far 💥 pic.twitter.com/Oh0tth72Ju10:31 PM

Portland Trail Blazers @trailblazers
End of 1.
#RipCity pic.twitter.com/XjACBlI2Vq10:31 PM

Casey Holdahl @CHold
Nuggets 41, Blazers 28: end of first quarter. 10 points, 1 rebound for @Nassir Little. 6 points, 4 assists for @Jusuf Nurkic. 6 points, 3 assists for @Dennis Smith. – 10:30 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
Bones Hyland messes up what could have been the Nuggets’ highlight of the season. Facu Campazzo nutmegs his defender in the open floor, but Hyland bricked the open corner 3. – 10:30 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Facu’s nutmegs carry so much more weight to #Nuggets fans in Ball Arena than his +/-. – 10:29 PM

Dwight Jaynes @dwightjaynes
Campazzo is always all-world vs the Blazers – 10:29 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Zeke Nnaji is finishing plays better tonight. He is fighting through contact to finish without multiple pump fakes. He is rising up for rebounds and holding his ground better. Strong start from Nnaji. – 10:29 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
It’s amazing how much of a mental boost playing Portland can be for teams. Denver has a rhythm and fluditiy on offense right now they have rarely had this season. – 10:28 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Facu is EVERYWHERE – 10:28 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Fantastic play from the bench tonight so far. Michael Malone went down to a 9-man rotation while staggering Jeff Green, and it’s paying dividends so far.
Everyone playing well. – 10:27 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Denver has already gotten so much more from their reserve guards than they got all of last game combined. – 10:26 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
The Trail Blazers haven’t employed the front/switch/double defense on Nikola Jokic that OKC/LA used in the last two games. The result? 9 points on 4-of-5 shooting, 3 assists and 2 rebounds in the first 10 minutes. – 10:26 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Zeke Nnaji doing things! – 10:24 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
Blazers bench tonight:
– Tony Snell
– CJ Elleby
– Trendon Watford
– Keljin Blevins, who has three appearances all season (14 total minutes). – 10:24 PM

Duvalier Johnson @DuvalierJohnson
Portland Trailblazers Head Coach, Chauncey Billups pulled up to the game in Denver with a Park Hill hoodie and pic.twitter.com/zR8CK2ZrAo10:18 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
hi JOK3R – 10:18 PM

Andrew Lopez @_Andrew_Lopez
*whispers*
If Portland loses tonight, the Pelicans will be a 1/2 game out of the 10th spot in the Western Conference standings. – 10:18 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Don’t jump with Joker 😳 pic.twitter.com/6Eg6VSBt8T10:15 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Wow, it’s almost like Will Barton is a helpful basketball player – 10:15 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
That’s a 4-5 give and go. Jokic -> Jeff Green -> back to Jokic for the one-handed jam. Get him to the dunk contest. – 10:11 PM

Aaron J. Fentress @AaronJFentress
Nassir Little coming out hot. 3 of 5 from the field for 8 points. But Blazers trail 14-12. – 10:11 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Jokic caught a body?
Jokic caught a body! – 10:10 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
OH JOKER JAM – 10:10 PM

Portland Trail Blazers @trailblazers
NASSTY pic.twitter.com/Wt4HUfO9HI10:09 PM

Casey Holdahl @CHold
Aaron Gordon trying to steal CJ Elleby’s flow – 10:09 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Will Barton III is so important to everything the Nuggets do with or without all their injured players. – 10:09 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Denver is getting Aaron Gordon involved early and often. I think that’s a great decision by Malone. Putting the ball in Gordon’s hands will help take pressure off Jokic. – 10:07 PM

Casey Holdahl @CHold
Great start for @Nassir Little. Two threes and a transition dunk for all 8 of Portland’s points so far. – 10:06 PM

Portland Trail Blazers @trailblazers
2-2 from 3 for Nas to start the game! – 10:06 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
It’s like Aaron Gordon has realized he’s significantly bigger and stronger than any of the opposing small forwards who guard him. – 10:05 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
As @Adam Mares noted in the latest Locked on Nuggets, the Nuggets are horrible at driving to the basket, ranking 30th in the NBA in drives per game by a wide margin.
Starting the game with two drives from Gordon and Barton feels like a big deal. – 10:04 PM

Vinny Benedetto @VBenedetto
Nassir Little opens the scoring for Portland with a 3. Jeff Green spins for a lefty baby hook that gets the Nuggets on the board at the other end. – 10:04 PM

Portland Trail Blazers @trailblazers
Mile High City starters.
1⃣0⃣ @Dennis Smith
2⃣3⃣ @Ben McLemore
9⃣ @Nassir Little
3⃣3⃣ @Robert Covington
2⃣7⃣ @bosnianbeast27
#RipCity | @stormxio pic.twitter.com/Z8S5RAD5W710:01 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
We did it! Nikola Jokic had “Zicer” bumping at Ball Arena prior to tonight’s national TV game. 🇷🇸 pic.twitter.com/tz3ftR1uvk9:58 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
Nuggets starters: Morris, Barton, Gordon, Jeff Green, Jokic – 9:46 PM

Portland Trail Blazers @trailblazers
Baby Jusuf meet big Jusuf 🥰
@Jusuf Nurkic | #RipCity pic.twitter.com/qM2rYujfL19:44 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
I am mentally preparing for Dennis Smith Jr. to have the game of his life tonight to carry Portland to a 15-point second-half comeback tonight. – 9:42 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Nuggets go back to their starting lineup that is really good. – 9:38 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Nuggets are starting:
Monte Morris
Will Barton III
Aaron Gordon
Jeff Green
Nikola Jokic – 9:37 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Opening with this group tonight!
#MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/wFMXUzrdbJ9:37 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
#Nuggets announce that Will Barton and Markus Howard are both active tonight. JaMychal Green is out for personal reasons.
Doesn’t need to be re-hashed, but Barton/Howard would’ve been huge in the L.A. collapse. Any way, I’d expect Jeff Green back in the starting lineup. – 9:37 PM

Adam Mares @Adam_Mares
Out of quarantine and back in the host’s chair for the pregame show! Come join me!
✅ The most important homestand of the season
✅ Bol is back
✅ All the Blazers are OUT
youtube.com/watch?v=tRgp9r…9:30 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
First time I’ve seen Michael Porter Jr. shooting before a Nuggets home game this season. It’s all just stationary, but he’s working his way back. pic.twitter.com/8ZCu79IVRU9:29 PM

Katy Winge @katywinge
Jamal Murray making shots. pic.twitter.com/ZxSP41QS5o9:29 PM

Katy Winge @katywinge
Michael Porter Jr making shots. pic.twitter.com/f6E1mj5Oqj9:25 PM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
Clippers were down 59-34 with 7:04 left to play in 3rd quarter Tuesday night vs Nuggets.
They’re now down 60-34 with 10:27 left to play in 3rd quarter tonight in New Orleans. – 9:19 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Here is some more video of Michael Porter Jr. extending out near the 3-point line.
Again, it’s just light work, but it’s good he’s already doing basketball activities. pic.twitter.com/ARWFshzuyx9:18 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Michael Porter Jr. is getting up some very light shooting. It’s just great to see him on the court because it means he’s improving. Any basketball activities are good basketball activities for him right now. pic.twitter.com/tRTPO6peU49:16 PM

Brandon Rahbar @BrandonRahbar
SGA scored 8 points vs the Nuggets and people started to drag him.
He’s scored 48 points in the 5 quarters since. – 9:12 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Have you voted today?
1 RT = 2 VOTES 👀
#NikolaJokic #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/CRACwgV5Ik9:11 PM

Jake Madison @NOLAJake
Reminder that the Clippers scored just 28 points in the first half of their game Tuesday against the Nuggets. They came back to win that game – 9:04 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Markus Howard, who is active tonight, was set to be reevaluated 6 weeks from 12/17 after spraining his left knee.
Less than a month later, he is active. That was a fast recovery. – 9:02 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Will Barton is being active is great. Markus Howard being active is insane. – 9:02 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
Official: JaMychal Green (personal) is out tonight vs. Blazers.
Will Barton, Markus Howard are available. – 9:01 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Nuggets announced that Barton and Howard are both active tonight.
JaMychal Green (personal reasons) is OUT. – 9:01 PM

Eric Nehm @eric_nehm
Giannis Antetokounmpo out here looking for his tenth assist, but his teammates haven’t been able to help him out yet.
Even ran the Tony Snell Play with Wesley Matthews earlier. – 9:00 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Will Barton (left toe sprain) and Markus Howard (left knee sprain) are ACTIVE tonight.
JaMychal Green (personal reasons) is OUT.
#MileHighBasketball8:59 PM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
New Orleans leads 42-24 with 5:55 left in first half.
It’s been another rough start for Jackson and Morris, as that duo has combined to shoot only 1/11 FGs while missing all 7 3s.
Unlike Tuesday, Clippers have already allowed more first half points than they did to Nuggets. – 8:48 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗞𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗳 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗸 𝗛𝗶𝗹𝗹
@1MrBigShot is back in the building! pic.twitter.com/vGLA1V1PiX8:44 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
As long as Will Barton plays tonight, I really do think tonight is a good time to experiment with the bench a little bit more, specifically bench roles.
Would also like to see Bones Hyland running some offense. – 8:40 PM

Aaron J. Fentress @AaronJFentress
Chauncey Billups just said that CJ McCollum and his wife Elise have had their child. #RipCity8:38 PM

Casey Holdahl @CHold
Chauncey Billups dropped the news: @CJ McCollum (or to be more specific, his wife Elise) had the baby and is expected to join the team on the road in their next few games. – 8:37 PM

Sean Highkin @highkin
Chauncey Billups says the team expects CJ McCollum to return in the coming days on this road trip. CJ’s wife, Elise, recently gave birth to their first baby. Billups says mom and baby are healthy and doing well. – 8:37 PM

Aaron J. Fentress @AaronJFentress
Blazers coach Chauncey Billups just said prior to tonight’s game at Denver that he is happy Damian Lillard had surgery so he can heal up but also said that it remains up in the air if Lillard could return this season. Depends on where he is and where the team is. #RipCity8:36 PM

Jay Allen @PDXjay
Billups says he talked to Damian Lillard following his abdominal surgery today. Says Damian is in some pain but doing good after the surgery. #RipCity8:30 PM

Vinny Benedetto @VBenedetto
“Who’s going to be my coach?” Broncos fan and Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups asks the Denver media before his pregame availability. – 8:30 PM

Sean Highkin @highkin
Chauncey Billups on Damian Lillard undergoing surgery: “I’m happy for Dame. I’ve spent a lot of time over the season talking to him and he doesn’t even know what it feels like to play healthy. It’s been so long. I’m happy he’s going to be able to get healthy.” – 8:29 PM

Jay Allen @PDXjay
Chauncey Billups says Cody Zeller (right patellar fracture) banged knees in the #Blazers last game against the Nets. Says Zeller has been in quite a bit of pain the last couple of days. Zeller is out for tonight’s game in Denver. – 8:29 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
JaMychal Green (personal reasons) is questionable tonight vs. Portland. – 8:29 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
The Nuggets haven’t outscored their opponent in the second half since Dec. 4 vs. the Knicks, or in 17 games. Malone called it a “sobering stat” just now. – 8:25 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Malone, speaking to the #Nuggets wild first-half/second-half swings, said the common denominator has been 3-point shooting percentages fall off and the turnovers spike. Said the quality of shots in the second half has dropped off, too. Credited Tommy Balcetis in FO for data. – 8:25 PM

Duvalier Johnson @DuvalierJohnson
Michael Malone said that he feels as if the Nuggets have had the most difficult schedule in the entire NBA thus far with all things considered. – 8:21 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
Michael Malone says Bol Bol left for the Pistons on good terms. He’s returning to the Nuggets after today’s rescinded trade: “He’s coming back. We feel he’s healthy.” – 8:19 PM

Duvalier Johnson @DuvalierJohnson
Michael Malone said that Bol Bol feels healthy and will come back to the Nuggets.
He also said he was initially happy for Bol as he would get to be in a place where he got the opportunity to play. – 8:18 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Malone said Denver was excited for Bol to have playing time elsewhere and that they feel he is healthy, but they will be happy welcoming him back. – 8:17 PM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
Tonight basically starts an 11-game road trip for Clippers. That is, they’re in a different American city for the rest of January:
– New Orleans
– San Antonio
– LA! (vs Pacers on MLK)
– Denver
– Philadelphia
– New York
– Washington
– Orlando
– Miami
– Charlotte
– Indiana – 8:08 PM

Mark Giannotto @mgiannotto
Jerseys swapped tonight at FedExForum for Ja/Jaren: Steph Curry, Michael Jordan, Zion Williamson, Allen Iverson (Denver), Mike Conley (🥲), Rajon Rondo, Andre Miller (Denver), Carsen Edwards (Boston), LeBron (Cleveland), LeBron (Lakers), Penny Hardaway (Orlando), Chandler Parsons – 7:10 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Over/Under 7 assists for Nikola tonight?
Sign up with @PointsBetUSA to receive your first bets risk-free up to $2K: bit.ly/3DlZTq7
#MileHighBasketball6:17 PM

Stephen Noh @StephNoh
Some Jokic defensive advanced stats:
-96th percentile in def. EPM
-No. 2 in def. RAPTOR and DBPM
-Top 12 in def. LEBRON
Why does he rank as an elite defender in so many metrics, and what does the eye test show us about his improvement?
sportingnews.com/us/nba/news/fi…5:37 PM

Portland Trail Blazers @trailblazers
Hello from 5,280 feet above sea level.
#RipCity pic.twitter.com/m66kWsLZaF5:15 PM

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews
On NBA Today: @Brian Windhorst reporting on Damian Lillard undergoing an abdominal procedure and what comes next. pic.twitter.com/mxbbuaZqMD5:13 PM

Portland Trail Blazers @trailblazers
We have hired Andrae Patterson as an Assistant General Manager.
Welcome to Portland, Andrae!
🔗: rip.city/3K9KX244:40 PM

Rod Beard @detnewsRodBeard
Video: Rod Beard on #Pistons‘ rescinded trade with the #Nuggets for Bol Bol: detroitnews.com/videos/sports/… via @detroitnews4:40 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Will maintain that I still don’t think Michael Porter Jr. will play this season, but the rumblings have almost always been “oh, that’s good news.” – 4:37 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Update heading into the game tonight:
-Both 10-day hardship deals for Carlik Jones & Rayjon Tucker have expired
-James Ennis III is still signed using the hardship exception, but with Barton out of protocols, he will be inactive unless someone else enters protocols – 4:14 PM