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Matthews leads Trail Blazers over Nuggets

Dec 30, 2011 - 8:15 AM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Wesley Matthews had 25 points and five rebounds to help Portland take a 111-102 win over Denver at the Rose Garden.

Raymond Felton scored 23 points, added six assists and five rebounds while Jamal Crawford donated 22 points for the Trail Blazers, who remain perfect on the season after three games.

Ty Lawson scored 25 points and Arron Afflalo added 19 points for the Nuggets, who were coming off wins over Dallas and Utah.

"We didn't make the shots we needed to down the stretch," said Denver head coach George Karl. "They did and we didn't, that's why they won the game."

The game was tied with under six minutes to play as Lawson buried a three- pointer to make it 98-all.

A technical foul call to Denver for a three-second violation saw Crawford hit the free throw and Matthews follow with a layup. After Rudy Fernandez missed a three-pointer, Matthews nailed a three-ball with 4:45 to play for a 104-98 lead.

Afflalo hit two free throws to make it a four-point game with 4:10 to play, but after two misses and a turnover from each team, Felton hit a three-ball with 1:45 to play to seal the win.

"We need to win tough games and that showed a lot of pride and a lot of heart among our team tonight," said Felton.

A 9-2 run in the first quarter helped Portland take a 30-17 lead after 12 minutes, but Denver answered in the second quarter with 36 points and the game was tied at 53-all after the first half.

Portland used an 8-0 run in the third quarter, which included consecutive three-pointers from Matthews, to take an 83-79 lead into the final quarter.

Game Notes

Denver plays in LA against the Lakers on Saturday...The Trail Blazers next play on New Year's Day against the Clippers in Los Angeles...Each team won twice in the season series in 2010-11...Portland shot 51.9 percent and grabbed 50 rebounds, while Denver shot just 40.2 percent and grabbed 30 boards.