PORTLAND, OREGON (AP) – JaMychal Green had 20 points and 10 rebounds off the bench and the Denver Nuggets pushed their winning streak to six games with a 124-92 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers early yesterday.
Nikola Jokic had 18 rebounds, 11 assists and eight points before sitting for good with 2:22 left in the third quarter.
DeMarcus Cousins, signed by the Nuggets for the rest of the season on Saturday, added 19 points and eight rebounds, and Denver’s bench finished with a season-high 76 points.
“We’ve got a lot of talented guys in that second unit,” said Bryn Forbes, who finished with 17 points. “A lot of guys can come in and get hot, put up some points and help us win games.”
Anfernee Simons had 16 points to lead the Trail Blazers, who were coming off a loss to the Warriors on Thursday that snapped a four-game winning streak.
Denver led by as many as 20 points. Although the Nuggets looked sluggish at times playing the second of a back-to-back, the smaller and less experienced Blazers’ lineup couldn’t match them.
“We had a couple of good moments, but we weren’t able to sustain, for the most part. But we played hard, I’ll give us that credit.”
Portland is still missing Damian Lillard, who is recovering from abdominal surgery. The Blazers announced yesterday that their six-time All-Star had progressed through the first phase of his recovery, and that he will be reevaluated in two to three weeks after a reconditioning protocol.
The Nuggets went on an 18-4 run to start the second quarter and pushed their lead to 50-31. The Blazers never threatened.
“We knew we were the better team tonight so we knew we had to put them away early and we did a great job of doing that,” Green said. Cousins, a 10-year NBA veteran, was first signed by the Nuggets on January 21 to a 10-day contract.
The former All-Star has played 10 games with Denver this season after he was waived by the Bucks.