The 32-11 Portland Trail Blazers got back to their winning ways Thursday night against the 20-21 Denver Nuggets, and they can thank LaMarcus Aldridge.
The fringe MVP candidate posted a massive line: a career-high 44 points with 13 rebounds, five assists and two blocks on 15-of-29 from the floor and 14-of-17 from the line.
The Blazers needed every bit of it too, as they held off the hard-charging Nuggets 110-105 at the Moda Center.
Brian Shaw's unit was balanced offensively, with 10 players registering at least 14 minutes of action. Wilson Chandler led the team in scoring, with 18 points, and Ty Lawson had another big game as a distributor, totaling 11 dimes.
For Terry Stotts and Portland, the starters logged heavy minutes and posted gaudy stats, as we've come to expect.
Wesley Matthews had 24 points and four assists on 8-of-15 shooting. Nicolas Batum had another well-rounded stat line, even though his scoring numbers were down (six points, seven rebounds, 10 assists, two steals).
Robin Lopez notched 12 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks, as he continues to cement himself as a quality center on both ends of the floor. Damian Lillard had a quiet game, with 11 points, two rebounds, three assists and two blocks, though it was clear Aldridge was going to carry the load offensively.
The Nuggets have now dropped three in a row, and they find themselves in 10th place in the unforgiving Western Conference. The Blazers, meanwhile, are in third, just one game back of conference-leading Oklahoma City.
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