Jokic leads Denver into matchup with Portland
Portland Trail Blazers (16-24, 10th in the Western Conference) vs. Denver Nuggets (20-19, sixth in the Western Conference)
Denver; Thursday, 10 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets host the Portland Trail Blazers. Jokic is ninth in the league averaging 25.7 points per game.
The Nuggets are 13-12 in conference matchups. Denver is 5-2 in games decided by 3 points or fewer.
The Trail Blazers are 1-4 against the rest of their division. Portland has a 10-17 record against opponents over .500.
The two teams matchup for the third time this season. The Trail Blazers defeated the Nuggets 119-100 in their last meeting on Nov. 24. CJ McCollum led the Trail Blazers with 32 points, and Jeff Green led the Nuggets with 24 points.
TOP PERFORMERS: Jokic is averaging 25.7 points, 14.1 rebounds and seven assists for the Nuggets. Will Barton is averaging 13.8 points over the last 10 games for Denver.
Damian Lillard is shooting 32.4% from beyond the arc with 3.2 made 3-pointers per game for the Trail Blazers, while averaging 24 points and 7.3 assists. Norman Powell is shooting 44.0% and averaging 21.8 points over the past 10 games for Portland.
LAST 10 GAMES: Nuggets: 5-5, averaging 102.0 points, 47.0 rebounds, 26.2 assists, 6.5 steals and 3.8 blocks per game while shooting 44.7% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 103.1 points per game.
Trail Blazers: 4-6, averaging 109.3 points, 43.7 rebounds, 21.4 assists, 7.0 steals and 4.9 blocks per game while shooting 43.4% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 115.8 points.
INJURIES: Nuggets: PJ Dozier: out (acl), Markus Howard: out (knee), Vlatko Cancar: out (foot), Michael Porter Jr.: out for season (back), Jamal Murray: out (knee), Will Barton: out (health protocols).
Trail Blazers: Larry Nance Jr.: day to day (knee), Norman Powell: out (health and safety protocols), CJ McCollum: out (lung), Damian Lillard: day to day (abdominal).