Anfernee Simons went off in third quarter for 22 of his 29 points and the Blazers raced to a 135 -110 rout of the Nuggets. The Blazers remained undefeated, improving to 4-0 on the season, the best record in the NBA.
It was a familiar start. The fresher Nuggets were running on all cylinders early. Jamal Murray looked unstoppable. Aaron Gordon was machine. Micheal Porter Jr couldnt be stopped. Down double digits, the Blazers on the second of a back to back looked to be in trouble. But, looks can be deceiving.
The Blazers had the Nuggets right where they wanted them as they fought back in a rough first half. They appeared frustrated with calls, flustered by a bigger more physical Denver team. They were getting angry. Lillard ran the court for an emphatic layup ro end the half and bring the Blazers within 6.
Simons got hot in the third hitting three pointer after three pointer, Dame feeding him, looking for a heat check. The Blazers built a lead into double digits, outscoring Denver 44-25 in the third, putting up 80 points in the second half.
Again it was heart and defense. The size of the fight in the dog. And, they had to do it sans Justice Winslow, one of their best defenders, who was out with a sprained ankle. It didnt matter. The Blazers are slowly proving they are a force to be reckoned with.
Anfernee Simons recorded 29 points on the night, including 22 in the third on 7-12 shooting from distance.
Lillard led the Blazers with 31 points and 8 assists, while shooting 4-7 from three.
The Blazers start the season ar 4-0 for the first time since the 1999-2000 seaaon.
Aaron Gordon led the Nuggets with 26 points and 6 rebounds.
Micheal Porter Jr added 18 points and Bones Hyland put up 15 points off the bench on 4-7 from three.
Nikola Jokic recorded a near triple double in the loss with 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists.
The Trail Blazers will next play the Miami Heat on Wednesday at 7:00 PM (PDT).