Coming off their opening night loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, Denver returned home for their home opener against the Portland Trailblazers, and got straight punched in the mouth losing 113-98. So much for that 23 game home winning streak (regular season).
The 1st quarter was actually very even and Denver held a 24-23 lead after one. Nicholas Batum of the Blazers had 15pts in the 1st Qtr. The 2nd Qtr was all Portland as Denver can say they played defense but it was very weak. Time after time after time Portland were getting 2nd chance points and the close out defense by the Nuggets was ugly. Portland got hot from the 3pt line which didn’t help Denver’s cause plus Portland shot 48% from the field compared to the Nuggets 36%. At the half, Portland was up 64-50. Lawson was the leading Nugget with 14pts.
The 2nd half only got worse for Denver as Portland stayed red hot from 3pt land, and the Nuggets truthfully looked disconnected on what to do on the defensive side of the ball. The Blazers simply had too many opportunities and took advantage all night. Portland took a 91-71 lead into the 4th Qtr. Athough Denver did make a run, they were not able to overcome all the little mistakes they made tonight losing 113-98, ending the Nuggets 23 game regular season home winning streak. This game came down to shooting and the Blazers were on point tonight hitting 14-22 from 3pt- range, and the Nuggets were a horrendous 20-34 from the FT line. Easy points the team desperately needed tonight. Nate Robinson led all Nugget scorers with 24pts and Lawson had 21pts, 7asts, and 6rebs.
Folks, this was a downright awful way to start the new NBA season in your home opener. After the 1st Qtr. Denver was outplayed until late in the 4th, simply unacceptable. Yes, its game 2 of an 82 game season, so don’t sound the panic alarms yet, but the Nuggets need to wake up and realize no one is going to feel sorry for them. New coach Brian Shaw has his work cut our for him and he will definitely be looking for a response from his team when Denver is back in action at home on Tuesday vs the San Antonio Spurs.