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Blazers beat Nuggets to take 1-game lead for 8th seed

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Portland lets Nurkic hear it after monster game (0:21)

Jusuf Nurkic gets taken out of the game with under a minute to play in the fourth quarter and Trail Blazers fans give him a strong ovation after his 33-point, 16-rebound effort against his former team. (0:21)

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Jusuf Nurkic had a career-high 32 points with 16 rebounds against his former team, CJ McCollum had 39 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets 122-113 on Tuesday night to take hold of the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Portland leads Denver by a game for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Blazers also clinched the season-series tiebreaker with the Nuggets, giving them an upper hand with eight games to play.

Jameer Nelson led Denver with 23 points.

The Blazers got Nurkic involved early against his former team. On Portland's first possession, Nurkic scored on a designed post-up play against Nikola Jokic, who took Nurkic's starting spot in Denver.