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Portland's defense has another rough night; team now prepares for Dec. 23 opener against Utah.

McCOLLUMThe skinny: The Trail Blazers were really happy with their defense in the first of four preseason games.

The next three? Not so much, as Portland struggled on the defensive end, including in Friday's 129-96 loss at Denver.

Portland allowed 121 (vs. Sacramento), 126 (vs. Denver) and 129 points (vs. Denver) in the past three games after holding Sacramento to 102 points last week.

The Nuggets made 18 3-pointers, giving them 37 in the two preseason games in Denver.

Paul Millsap had 24 points. With expanded rosters during the postseason, the Nuggets took advantage as 14 out of 15 players scored points. Bol Bol added 16 points.

Portland played without Damian Lillard (rest), as well as Anfernee Simons (hamstring). The Blazers shot .371 from the field and .303 from the 3-point line (10 of 33). CJ McCollum had 26 points and Gary Trent Jr. 18. Denver again outrebounded Portland 53-42.

Derrick Jones Jr. suffered an injury (back contusion) after he fell awkwardly after an alley-oop dunk.

Next up: The Blazers open the regular season at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23 against Utah at Moda Center.


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