Blazers earn 10th win in a row, beat Nuggets againDec 22, 2007 - 7:17 AM By Kasey Postlewaite PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) - Brandon Roy and Travis Outlaw made sure the Denver Nuggets became victim No. 10.
Roy and Outlaw both came up with a huge defensive stops in the fourth quarter as the Portland Trail Blazers pushed their winning streak to 10 games with Friday's 99-96 victory over the Nuggets.
Martell Webster scored 19 points and Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 18 apiece to defeat the Nuggets for the second time in six days.
"We are just a very balanced team right now," said Webster, who went 4-of-8 from the arc. "We are playing together and like a family. We've been able to get it from different people almost every night. We also got a superstar in Brandon Roy as well."
Portland came out firing to open the fourth quarter, using an impressive 16-2 burst that was capped by James Jones' 17-foot jumper with 8:09 remaining to make it 85-78.
But the Nuggets battled back to tie things up at 94-94 when Carmelo Anthony scored two of his eight fourth-quarter points with 1:27 left.
Jones split a pair of free throws to give the Trail Blazers a one-point lead and Roy blocked the 6-8 Anthony on the ensuing play to help maintain the lead with 22 seconds to go.
"We switched Brandon to (Allen) Iverson because we knew they were going to run that one three pick-and-roll," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "Then we would switch Iverson and (Anthony), so Travis would be on Iverson and Brandon would be on Melo. They went right to that set and that was the defensive play of the game. Not only did he block it, he recovered it."
"When (Anthony) did the move, I just tried to beat him to the spot and I was able to kinda of stuff him up a little bit," Roy said. "It was just a lucky block but it was a big stop, and we'll take it."
After trading points, Jarrett Jack hit two foul shots to create a 99-96 edge with four seconds left, giving Denver one final shot to force overtime.
However, Outlaw blocked Linas Kleiza's 3-pointer from the left wing as Portland secured its longest winning streak since the 2001-02 squad captured 12 straight.
"When they threw it ahead, I knew where (Kleiza) was heading," said Outlaw, who scored 11 of his 12 points in the fourth. "I saw him get his rhythm and I just went over there and jumped. I didn't want to get the foul but just contest it."
"After the block, it was so loud I couldn't even here the buzzer go off," Webster added.
The duo of Iverson and Anthony each poured in 34 points in a losing effort for the Nuggets, who were coming off a draining double-overtime victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
"They are the hottest team in the league right now," Anthony said. "Before the game, (Nuggets coach) George (Karl) came up to me and AI and told us to get that third person involved, but it was kind of hard out there. I tried and AI tried. When you got five guys out there making shots, it's kind of hard to do anything."
"They have grown together very quickly," Karl said. "They have a very good composure for close games. They also have the ability to explode on you."
Denver was without starters Marcus Camby (sore back) and Kenyon Martin (left hamstring) and were forced to go with Jelani McCoy at center.
PORTLAND 99 FINAL
Dec 22 12:34 AM
PORTLAND 69 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 21 11:52 PM
PORTLAND 50 HALFTIME
Dec 21 11:11 PM
PORTLAND 30 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 21 10:37 PM
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