Meyers Leonard scores career-high 30 as Trail Blazers top Nuggets

DENVER — Meyers Leonard scored a career-high 30 points and Zach Collins had a career-best 18, including eight straight points down the stretch, to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 119-100 victory over…

Meyers Leonard scores career-high 30 as Trail Blazers top Nuggets

DENVER — Meyers Leonard scored a career-high 30 points and Zach Collins had a career-best 18, including eight straight points down the stretch, to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 119-100 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.

Damian Lillard added 23 points for the Blazers, who beat the Nuggets for the seventh straight time. Portland has won eight of its last nine games.

This was the last game of a difficult three-game road trip for the Nuggets, who stumbled in New Orleans and Chicago before falling in Denver. They played without Kenneth Faried (knee) and Jusuf Nurkic (right groin) and dropped their ninth in 10 games.

The Nuggets tried to make a game of it in the third quarter, closing to 64-63 on Wilson Chandler’s 3-pointer with 4:53 left. They didn’t score again until point guard Emmanuel Mudiay’s three-point play pulled them within 89-80 with 10:36 left.

That’s when Portland’s starting frontcourt of Leonard, Collins and Jusuf Nurkic went to work. Collins scored eight straight points during the decisive run and Leonard added three more.

It put the game out of reach.

Nurkic finished with 17 points and Leonard had 12 rebounds for Portland. Allen Crabbe scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half and Lillard had 11, including two 3-pointers in the second quarter.

Lillard’s only misfire in the second was on the ensuing possession after one of his baskets. It was the first field goal he missed in six tries, but the Blazers were held to just six points in the quarter and trailed 58-49 at halftime.

Denver went more than 10 minutes before a 3-pointer. Jeff Teague missed his only attempt of the night.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Nurkic returned after missing two games with a right groin strain. … The team honored Danny Ainge and Eddie McMillan before the game. Ainge is a member of the Blazers’ owners’ organization and McMillan is the team’s vice president of basketball operations. … Portland is 1-4 against Denver.

Nuggets: Rookie Will Barton missed his ninth straight game with a sprained right ankle. … Their 23-point loss marked their biggest loss at home this season. The previous high was the 39-point loss to Golden State last month. … Denver is 1-2 in the second game of back-to-backs. … Nurkic (sore right shoulder) and Faried (sore left knee) sat out. … The Nuggets are 6-7 in March.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: At Sacramento on Monday.

Nuggets: Host Detroit on Monday.

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