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Jokic sparks Denver past Portland


EditorsNote: Adjusted stat in 8th graf

Nikola Jokic had 20 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, Jerami Grant also scored 20 points and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 114-99 on Thursday night.

Will Barton finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, Gary Harris also scored 15 and Jamal Murray scored 12 points for Denver, which ended a three-game skid.

Hassan Whiteside had a game-high 33 points to go with 11 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Trail Blazers.

Carmelo Anthony had 20 points and nine rebounds in his first game against his former team since joining Portland. CJ McCollum scored 15 and Damian Lillard had 13 points and 11 assists for the Trail Blazers.

The Nuggets have won the first two games between the teams, including a win at Portland in the season opener.

Denver led by nine at the half but the lead was trimmed to one when Lillard hit a 3-pointer with 2:47 left in the third quarter. The Nuggets then got a push from their bench to close the period.

Monte Morris fed center Mason Plumlee on an alley-oop and, after a turnover, Grant drained his third 3-pointer of the game to make it 84-78. The teams traded misses, Harris hit two free throws and, following Anthony's missed 3-pointer, Grant hit another one from deep to put ahead Denver 89-78 heading into the fourth.

Grant tied season and career highs with five made 3-pointers.

Portland missed its last five shots of the third, a streak broken by Anfernee Simons to start the fourth quarter. The Nuggets answered with a 7-0 run to lead 96-80 early in the period.

It was 98-84 lead when Grant his another 3-pointer and a little later Morris' shot from behind the arc put Denver up 104-86, its biggest lead of the game.

Harris had 13 points in the first half to help Denver lead by as many as 12. The Trail Blazers got within three late in the second quarter but the Nuggets pushed their advantage to 62-53 at intermission.

--Field Level Media

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