Nov 1, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Portland Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum (88) keeps the ball from Denver Nuggets point guard Randy Foye (4) in the third quarter at the Pepsi Center. The Trail Blazers won 113-98. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Preview: Denver Nuggets (20-20) vs. Portland Trailblazers (31-11)

The Denver Nuggets (20-20) are coming off of a loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night and look to bounce back on national television against a division rival in the Portland Trailblazers. Portland is having a spectacular season and currently sit as the third seed in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, Denver is 3 1/2 games back of the eight seed where the Dallas Mavericks are currently seeded.

What: Regular Season: Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trailblazers
When: Thursday, January 23rd
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Time: 10:30 PM ET, 8:30 PM MT
TV: TNT or Altitude Sports

This is the second of four meetings between the two teams as the Portland Trailblazers took the win in Denver and shot lights-out. The Trailblazers would shoot an outrageous percentage from behind-the-arc as they knocked down 14-of-22 three-pointer, 63.6% en route to defeating the Nuggets, 113-98. Wesley Matthews was a key contributor to that percentage as the shooting guard knocked down all four three-pointers he attempted. He would finish with 21 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. The Nuggets would also have no answer for power forward LaMarcus Aldridge as the big man would finish with 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. Nicolas Batum would knock down 5-of-8 from downtown finishing with 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Denver was led by point guard Ty Lawson who finished with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1 steal.

While it was made known that forward Danilo Gallinari would be shut down for the rest of the season after undergoing yet another operation on his left knee, Denver will have to move on without him. Gallinari was a key offensive force last season averaging 16.2 points per game, leading the team for most of the season until the outburst of Ty Lawson.

Projected Starting Line-Ups:

Denver Nuggets:

PG: Ty Lawson
SG: Randy Foye
SF: Wilson Chandler
PF: Kenneth Faried
C: J.J. Hickson

Portland Trailblazers:

PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Nicolas Batum
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Robin Lopez

Tags: Denver Nuggets

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