Lawson scores 18 as Nuggets beat Blazers 104-95

Ty Lawson had 18 points and nine assists in his return to the lineup, Kenneth Faried scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and the Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 104-95 on Wednesday night.

Timofey Mozgov had 14 points and nine rebounds and Al Harrington came off the bench to score 13 points and add nine rebounds for the Nuggets, who ended a two-game skid.

Jamal Crawford had 21 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Trail Blazers.

The Nuggets beat the Trail Blazers for the 16th time in the last 17 games in Denver. The Trail Blazers' only win in that span came on Dec. 16, 2007.

Lawson missed the last two games with a sprained left ankle and quickly made an impact. He scored 11 points in the second half, including a key 3-pointer late to hold off a surge by Portland.

The Nuggets led by 19 in the third quarter before the Blazers got within nine on Crawford's 3-pointer with 3:45 left in the period. Denver settled down to lead by 14 heading into the fourth.

The Blazers trailed by double digits for most of the game, but cut it to six three times in the final 7:20. Wesley Matthew's hit a 3-pointer from the corner to trim Denver's lead to 91-85, the closest the Blazers had been since early in the second quarter.

The teams traded baskets before Lawson's 3-pointer with 4:09 left made it 101-91.

Portland trailed by five early in the second when Denver went on a 13-2 run to take a 44-28 lead midway through the period.

Crawford got hot and scored 13 points over the next 3:33 to help the Blazers cut the deficit to 53-45 late in the second. Denver closed the half strong, scoring the last nine points to take a 17-point lead into intermission.

The Nuggets never trailed in extending the Blazers' losing streak to seven games in Denver. Faried set the tone early, scoring the first four points and hustling for loose balls and rebounds. Four of his first five rebounds were on offense and his steal and windmill dunk gave Denver the lead for good just 1:17 into the game.

Notes: Nuggets F Nene (strained left calf) missed his eighth straight game. He has missed 13 games with heel and calf injuries. G Rudy Fernandez missed his fifth straight game with a lower back strain. ... Blazers forward Kurt Thomas left with a mild concussion in the first quarter after getting inadvertently kicked in the head by Faried when he jumped to save a ball from going out of bounds. He did not return.