Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 1/2

Game 1: Friday, January 2nd
Trail Blazers96
Game 2: Monday, February 2nd
Trail Blazers97Final
Game 3: Thursday, February 12th
Trail Blazers98
Game 4: Saturday, April 10th
Trail Blazers100Final

Nuggets 106


Trail Blazers 96

(15-16, 14-5 home)

7:00 PM ET, January 2, 2004

Moda Center, Portland, OR

1 2 3 4 T
DEN 30 29 18 29106
POR 25 25 29 1796

Top Performers

Denver: V. Lenard 27 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

Portland: R. Wallace 30 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Blk

Lenard leads Denver with 27 points

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Denver Nuggets looked at some videotape Friday morning, didn't like what they saw and tried to put a premium on the basics.

The plan worked to perfection as Voshon Lenard had 27 points for Denver, which let a first-half lead slip away before regaining it in the fourth quarter of a 106-96 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak.

``The last two games we didn't defend well, our fundamentals were poor, we didn't share the basketball -- kind of got away from what has brought us some success so far,'' coach Jeff Bzdelik said.

"I challenged our guys pretty good today,'' he added, ``we had a film session and saw on film what we weren't doing right and our guys really responded well."

The Nuggets, who haven't lost three straight since an eight-game losing streak to finish last season, hit 26 of 29 free throws and shot 51.3 percent from the floor.

``We needed to see ourselves on tape. The video never lies,'' said Andre Miller, who had 15 points and six assists. ``It was a good effort by everybody.''

Portland's Zach Randolph had 19 points and 14 rebounds for his 18th double-double, and Rasheed Wallace had 30 points as the Blazers lost for just the fifth time in 15 home games.

The Blazers, who trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, went ahead for the first time when Wallace's 3-pointer made it 69-67. Portland eventually went up by as many as eight, but the Nuggets sneaked up and tied it at 82 on Rodney White's layup and free throw, then took the lead on Earl Boykins' jumper.

Wesley Person answered with a 3-pointer for Portland, and it was back-and-forth until Marcus Camby's dunk put the Nuggets up 94-90 and Lenard hit a pair of free throws. Boykins hit another pair to give Denver a 100-92 lead, and the Nuggets held on the rest of the way.

``Their offense was better than our defense,'' Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said. ``That was the story of the game.''

The Blazers hit just 16 of 28 free throws.

Camby, who sat out of Denver's 120-104 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday because of a lower back strain and left groin strain, had 12 points.

The Nuggets went up 21-12 on Nene's early reverse layup, and but the Blazers closed in, narrowing it to 29-23 on Qyntel Woods' fast break dunk. Randolph's hook shot closed the Blazers to 43-39, and Wallace's 3-pointer put them a point away.

Wallace was fouled on his next drive to the basket, but made just one free throw as Portland was not able to take a lead.

The Nuggets responded with a 14-2 run, capped by Lenard's jumper, to take their biggest lead of the half at 59-47. Denver led 59-50 at the half on 60 percent shooting.

Rookie Carmelo Anthony sat out the final quarter with a sore toe that has been bothering him for the past several games.

Notes:@ Randolph, in his third season and first as a starter, has become the Blazers' top scorer and rebounder. He averaged 24.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and shot 47 percent in 15 December games. He was scoreless in the first quarter. ... Anthony, the No. 3 pick in the draft out of Syracuse, was met by loud cheers at the start. ... It was Wallace's second 30-point game of the season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 106 96
FGM-FGA 39-76 (.513) 36-74 (.486)
3PM-3PA 2-4 (.500) 8-13 (.615)
FTM-FTA 26-29 (.897) 16-28 (.571)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-36 9-36
Assists 26 27
Turnovers 8 14
Steals 10 4
Blocks 10 6
Fast Break Points 6 5
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (2/0) 22 (3/0)

Top Performers

Voshon Lenard Lenard
Points: 27
Reb: 3
Ast: 2
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Rasheed Wallace Wallace
Points: 30
Reb: 7
Ast: 4
Stl: 0
Blk: 1