Portland, OR, United States (4E Sports) – Backcourt partners Ty Lawson and Andre Miller combined seven points in the last two minutes to help the Denver Nuggets survive a tough challenge from the Portland Trail Blazers en route to a 111-109 victory Wednesday at Rose Garden.
Lawson buried a 22-foot jumper to push the Nuggets ahead, 106-101, with 1:56 to play but the Blazers tied the count after a triple by Wesley Matthews and a jumper by LaMarcus Aldridge.
Showing veteran composure, Miller scored a layup with 24 seconds left while Aldridge missed on the other end, forcing Blazers rookie playmaker Damian Lillard to foul Lawson.
Lawson buried two foul shots to give the Nuggets a four-point lead, 110-106. Lillard then atoned for his foul by hitting a triple to move the Blazers within one with three ticks left.
Eric Maynor then fouled Miller, who split his charities, giving the Blazers a shot at tying or winning the game with a triple.
However, Aldridge missed a nine-foot jumper as time expired, allowing the Nuggets to escape with their third straight victory.
Lawson finished with 30 points on 12-for-22 shooting on top of six assists while Andre Iguodala had an all-around game, tallying 29 points, seven boards, eight dimes and give steals as the Nuggets improved to 37-22, 2nd in the Northwest Division.
Kosta Koufos added 11 and Kenneth Faried had 10 points, eight boards and four dimes for Denver. Miller scored just five points but issued 10 assists off the bench.
Six Blazers scored in double-digit, led by Lillards’s 26 and Aldridge’s 22, but their efforts came up short as the Nuggets outscored them in the shaded lane, 72-42.
JJ Hickson tallied 18 points and 14 boards, Matthews added 16, Meyers Leonard scored 13 and Nicolas Batum had 10 for the Blazers (26-31), who lost seven of their last 10 games.