Gary Harris to return following 11-game absence vs. Trail Blazers

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Plenty of Nuggets fans crowd the Pepsi Center in Denver in hope that their Nuggets win and stay afloat in the push to the National Basketball Association playoffs Monday, April 9, 2018. They are just a game ahead of Utah and two games ahead of three other sides, and with a game against the Jazz to follow this one, could still feasibly drop into the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff spots.

After being down since the end of the first quarter, the Nuggets were able to spark a comeback with five minutes remaining in the third period.

Jokic scored 15 points, pulled down a season-best 20 rebounds and had 11 assists.

The Trail Blazers scored 25 points off 18 offensive rebounds but managed only one bucket and two offensive boards in the fourth quarter, when they were held to 13 points. In a big game with a lot on the line, I want the team that's at home and rested. "I'm actually encouraged by the way we played, the way we fought". Denver proceeded to rack up a stellar 25 points in the last eight minutes of the game.

Seven players are averaging in double figures for the Nuggets, they are Nikola Jokic (18.3), Garry Harris (17.7), Jamal Murray (16.7), Will Barton (15.5), Paul Millsap (15.0), Wilson Chandler (10.1) and Trey Lyles (10.1).

This time, it was Denver that came up big in the end. He has missed the past 11 games due to a sprained right knee. "What he offers on the court is unique, as far as his rebounding, his screen setting, his finishing around the paint, all those things", Stotts said. Harris spent some time on the ground writhing in pain and eventually walked himself off the court, presumably headed either for the locker room or straight to the X-Ray room, where he eventually wound up. "He's working very hard and if that changes, then we'll be ready to adjust".

Nuggets: Malone said he chose to bring Gary Harris off the bench rather than start him because he didn't want to mess with the chemistry the Nuggets had developed while going 7-4 in his absence. The Denver Nuggets (45-35) are sitting ninth but are streaking, having won five straight.

"Coaches are amusing that way", Devin Harris said. "I'm not going to mess with our starting lineup right now".

The teams ahead of Denver in the playoff race haven't done the Nuggets any favors.

The Nuggets have invested long-term money in Harris and he is clearly a fixture in their blueprint for eventual contention in the Western Conference.

They won't be watching the scoreboard Wednesday night, either.

"We're good", Blazers guard CJ McCollum said after Saturday night's loss in San Antonio. He has jumped significantly in all major statistical categories this season to average 16.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists, and shoot 45.3% from the floor and 38.3% from beyond the arc. "We're finding ways to get the job done". "If we win we're in". UP NEXT Trail Blazers: Play Utah at home Wednesday night in their regular season finale.