Anfernee Simons, Blazers throttle Nuggets in stunning fashion – The Denver Post


Jamal Murray got the first crack at Anfernee Simons and couldn’t contain him. Next it was Aaron Gordon, then Bruce Brown and then Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

None of the aforementioned Nuggets could do anything with Portland’s precocious shooting guard, who turned into a flamethrower in the third quarter of Monday’s game, spearheading a humbling 135-110 rout over Denver.

The Trail Blazers remained undefeated, improving to 4-0 on the year. Following two big wins over the weekend, the Nuggets dropped to 2-2 with the slumping Lakers headed to Denver on Wednesday.

The last player to catch fire like Simons did against the Nuggets was Damian Lillard in the postseason two years ago. Apparently, he passed the torch to his protégé. Simons singed the nets for 22 points and six 3-pointers in the third quarter alone. He finished the night with 29 points on 11-of-17 from the field.

“We were embarrassing tonight,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone told Altitude after the game, lamenting his team’s inability to guard one-on-one.

Malone looked bewildered and stunned at his team’s second-half effort. The Blazers turned in 80 points in the second half alone.

Simons’ eruption coincided with a lethargic Nuggets third quarter, one in which the Blazers deployed a zone that Denver couldn’t solve. It didn’t help that Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. both found themselves in foul trouble and were unable to combat the onslaught. Jokic was unusually passive, finishing with only four shots for nine points along with nine rebounds and nine assists.


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