Of all the big games in this month of mostly home games, Tuesday night's against Portland at the Pepsi Center wasn't immediately identifiable as one.

And yet it was.

The upstart Trail Blazers began the night just two games behind the Nuggets in the Northwest Division, which meant they were also visible in the rear-view mirror in the Western Conference's top eight teams. And a loss to them early in the season meant the Nuggets were in need of a little revenge.

And they got it.

Denver's 115-111 overtime victory was a struggle, but it was a win nonetheless. If nothing else, give the Nuggets credit for consistency — they've made a recent habit out of slow-rolling through the bulk of the game, only to turn up the intensity in the fourth quarter. Tuesday, that was again the case, but they needed more time to get the job done.

"We were a little bit lucky, but we've been piecing our wins together in a very solid way," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "Whatever we have to do, we kind of figure out a way to win. We beat Portland with the 3-ball. That's probably not how we're ever going to beat them again this year. It was an offensive game. I don't think either team or coach could be very happy with how the defensive end of the court was played."

The teams traded blows back and forth in the extra five minutes. Ty Lawson got the Nuggets on the board quickly, but Portland answered. When J.J. Hickson hit two free throws with 1:31 left, Portland led 107-106.

Read more: Nuggets outlast Portland Trail Blazers to win in overtime - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_22382290/nuggets-outlast-portland-trail-blazers-win-overtime#ixzz2IAC9chSq

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