Trail Blazers-Nuggets Preview

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Coach Terry Stotts is hoping the Portland Trail Blazers learned a lesson after their three-game winning streak ended with a fourth-quarter collapse.

A matchup with the struggling Denver Nuggets might be just what they need to bounce back Monday night.

Portland (4-3) blew a 13-point lead and was outscored 41-11 in the fourth quarter of a 120-103 loss to Detroit on Sunday. The Trail Blazers missed 15 of 19 field goals in the final period, but they were so good through the first three they finished with a season-high 53.9 percent from the floor.

"We've got to learn from it," Stotts said. "We can't back down when teams turn up the pressure. We've got to be aggressive, we've got to do things a little bit better."

Showing improvement with the ball would help. The Blazers' 16.9 turnovers per game is among the highest in the league, and they matched their season high with 23 Sunday - 11 in the fourth quarter.

They've averaged just 12.3 turnovers to go along with 112.0 points during an eight-game win streak against the Nuggets (2-4), including four at Denver.

Damian Lillard is averaging 24.6 points and 7.4 assists over the past five visits to Denver.

The guard enters this one with team highs of 27.1 points and 7.3 assists after he had 26 and 11 against the Pistons. He's the first Blazer to score at least 20 points in each of the first seven games of a season since Clyde Drexler did it in the first 12 of 1988-89.

The Nuggets are 0-2 at home and have dropped four of their past five overall after falling 119-104 at Golden State on Friday. Denver did outscore the reigning NBA champions 60-45 in the second half and shot 51.1 percent, an increase of 17.0 from the opening 24 minutes.

"My message to them after the game is, 'I can coach that team that played in the second half, and be very proud regardless of the results,'" first-year coach Michael Malone said.

Malone may not have Joffrey Lauvergne available for a fourth straight game due to a lower back strain. The 6-foot-11 center is averaging 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds and Denver certainly missed him Friday, getting outrebounded 53-43.

The Nuggets could have a tough night on the boards again if Lauvergne can't go since Portland's frontcourt includes forwards Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis and center Mason Plumlee, who have combined for 25.2 of the team's 46.5 rebounds per game.

Will Barton got his career start at forward Friday and had 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists as the Nuggets opted for a smaller lineup.

The guard spent his first two-plus seasons with the Trail Blazers before being sent to Denver in a five-player deal before last season's trade deadline.

He had 12 points and seven boards in a 120-114 loss at Portland on March 28.

Danilo Gallinari, who was rested in that meeting, has struggled lately against the Blazers, averaging 7.7 points on 5-of-19 shooting in his last three matchups.

However, he had a season-high 25 points and hit 7 of 13 from the field in Friday's loss.

Denver hasn't opened 0-3 at home since 2002-03.