PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers hope for a couple of trends to continue when they play host to the Denver Nuggets Sunday night at the Moda Center.
The Trail Blazers (6-4) have beaten Denver (3-6) six straight times at home and are 14-2 against the Nuggets at the Moda Center since the start of the 2008-09 season. Portland has won 12 of its past 13 matchups overall with Denver dating to the start of the 2013-14 season.
The Blazers beat Denver 115-113 in overtime at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 29, scoring nine unanswered points in the final 1:26 of regulation to force the extra session. Damian Lillard scored a game-high 37 points on 15-for-28 shooting, including the game-winning field goal with .3 of a second remaining. Lillard has averaged 29.3 points on .485 shooting over the past three games against the Nuggets, having scored at least 30 in two of those games.
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Lillard is tied for fourth in the NBA in scoring at 30.6 points per game and has totaled the most points (306) in the first 10 games of a season in Portland history. The previous best was Kiki Vandeweghe's 282 in 1986. Lillard becomes the first player in Blazer annals to score at least 30 points in six of the first 10 games of a season.
Lillard scored 36 points to lead Portland past Sacramento 122-120 in overtime Friday at the Moda Center.
"A pretty gritty win," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "It's a positive that this group is able to find ways to win a close game."
Portland is 4-1 in games decided by six points or fewer and 2-1 in overtime contests this season.
The Blazers are going without power forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who has missed the past three games with a straining left calf. "(Aminu) will be re-evaluated in a couple of weeks," Stotts said.
In the meantime, the fifth-year Portland coach will choose from among Meyers Leonard, Noah Vonleh, Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe for the fifth starting spot, depending on matchups.
"We'll do whatever I think is best that night," Stotts said.
Denver guard Will Barton, a former Trail Blazer, has missed the past six games and will sit out Sunday's contest with a sprained left ankle. Forward Darrell Arthur (knee) is questionable for Sunday's game.
The Nuggets continue to have trouble taking care of the ball. They rank last in the league, averaging 18 turnovers per game after totaling 15 in a 106-95 home loss to Detroit Saturday night.
"We cannot continue to turn the ball over 18, 19 times a game if we want to give ourselves a chance to win," Denver coach Mike Malone told reporters.
The Nuggets hope to get one of those turnovers reversed -- and get a chance to turn a loss into a defeat in the process. In Tuesday's 108-107 loss at Memphis, referees ruled the ball was touched by the Nuggets before it went out of bounds with .7 of a second left, a call that was upheld by replay. Denver was leading by one point; the Grizzlies went on to win on Marc Gasol's buzzer-beating basket.
The next day, NBA officials ruled the ball should have been awarded to Denver. The Nuggets have filed an official protest with the league and hope to replay the end of the game the next time they play Memphis Feb. 1 in Denver.