With Carmelo Anthony still absent from the team, the Denver Nuggets defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 95-77, on Tuesday night. Portland's 77 points were the fewest allowed by the Nuggets this season. The previous low score for a Nuggets opponent was 86, accomplished by none other than the Trail Blazers back on Nov. 18. The Nuggets lost that game, 86-83.
Point guard Chauncey Billups led the Nuggets offense tonight with 18 points and nine assists. He was 7-of-11 from the field (2-of-3 from the beyond the arc). J.R. Smith started again in Melo's absence and added 17 points. Nene had 17 points too and also made seven rebounds. Arron Afflalo (15 points) and Kenyon Martin (10 points) both scored in double digits to give the starting five all 10-plus points.
Chris Andersen added eight points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Even Renaldo Balkman saw two minutes of court time. He last appeared on Nov. 9 for 11 minutes against the Indiana Pacers. The Nuggets outscored the Blazers in every quarter except for the final one, but a 30-17 third quarter was enough to seal the deal.
Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge put up an outstanding performance, picking up another double-double. He scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He also had a ridiculous seven blocks. With Brandon Roy out with a knee injury, the Blazers couldn't compete with the Nuggets on Tuesday night.
The Nuggets (17-13, 13-3 home) visit the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. Be there at center court with the Nuggets at 6:00 p.m MT.