Nuggets clinch division title with win over Trail Blazers - GulfToday

Nuggets clinch division title with win over Trail Blazers


Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (0) in NBA action against Detroit Pistons at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma on Friday. Reuters

Nikola Jokic tallied 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists as the Denver Nuggets clinched the Northwest Division title with a 119-110 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.

Paul Millsap scored 25 points and Jamal Murray had 23 as Denver locked up at least the number three seed in the NBA’s Western Conference.

Denver have a slim chance at gaining the top seed but the first place Golden State Warriors also won on Friday, 120-114 over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Denver lead the Houston Rockets by 1 1/2 games for the second seed in the West.

“That’s big,” said Murray of the division title. “Everybody knows how well we play at home.” Enes Kanter had 24 points, Rodney Hood had 17 and Al-Farouq Aminu had 12 points and 14 rebounds for Portland who dropped to 50-29 on the season.

Damian Lillard scored 14 points and missed all six of his three-point attempts.

The same teams meet again on Sunday night with the Nuggets having won the last six in a row.

“This was our night and it is going to carry over when we go to their place,” said Murray.

In Oakland, Stephen Curry bounced back from his lowest scoring game of the season to deliver 40 points as the Warriors moved to within one win of clinching the top seed by beating the struggling Cavaliers.

Golden State just need a win Sunday over the Los Angeles Clippers to seal the top seed in the West playoffs which begin next weekend.

The Warriors swept LeBron James’ Cavaliers in last season’s NBA finals.

In Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook secured his third straight season averaging a triple double as the Thunder beat the Detroit Pistons 123-110 in a NBA contest crucial to both teams’ playoff hopes.

Westbrook finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and 15 assists and has now averaged 10 or more points, rebounds, assists over the course of the season. He also averaged 10 or more figures in 2017-18 and 2016-17.

Westbrook came into the game needing three assists to secure his triple double season average and did it on just the fourth possession by Oklahoma City.

He is the only player to achieve the feat in consecutive seasons and he also leads the league in assists.

Agence France-Presse

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