Loss at Denver keeps Blazers sliding

Portland falls to sixth place in the West after 111-106 loss
Staff Report
AP photo

Denver center Nikola Jokic went off for 41 points and Portland lost for the third time in four nighrts, 111-106 Tuesday night in Denver.

Portland got 25 points and 13 assists from Damian Lillard and 24 points from Carmelo Anthony off the bench, but Jokic couldn't be stopped and the Nuggets were pressured into only one turnover throughout the night. Jamal Murray added 24 points for Denver.

The Blazers were within 93-92 with five minutes left, but Denver went on a 10-2 run and improved to 17-14 overall, just a game behind the Blazers in the conference standings. They finished with seven fewer field-goal attempts and the Nuggets made 17 of 18 free throws, which was eight more attempts than the Blazers had - they made all of them.

Portland, which had a six-game win streak snapped Saturday, dropped to sixth place in the West at 18-13 overall, which is 2.5 games ahead of ninth-place Dallas. The Mavericks beat Boston 110-107 on a 3-pointer by Luka Doncic with 0.01 seconds left Tuesday night to improve to 15-15. 

The Blaers play at the Los Angeles Lakers, who are currently in third place in the West, Friday night, then finish the first half of the regular season next week with three home games in four nights: Charlotte (14-16), Golden State (17-15) and Sacramento (12-19).

Dallas heads to the All-Star Break with a three-game road trip at Philadelphia, Boston and Orlando and at home against Oklahoma City.