PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Wesley Matthews teased teammate Brandon Roy when he arrived at his locker to a crowd of reporters following the Trail Blazers' overtime victory over the Nuggets.
``Brandon Roy must have scored some points!' Matthews shouted to no one in particular.
Roy, playing in just his second game since coming back from arthroscopic surgery on both knees, came off the bench to score 18 points - including a clutch 3-pointer that sent the game to overtime - and Portland beat Denver 107-106 on Friday night.
It was almost like old times for Roy, a three-time All-Star who has struggled this season with what he says is a lack of cartilage in both knees. The ovation he got after hitting his game-tying 3 with 5.8 seconds left in regulation was deafening.
``It felt good, just going through so much it's always good to make a shot like that,' he said.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Andre Miller had 18 points, nine assists and nine rebounds for Portland, which had just nine players available because of injuries and a big trade at the deadline for Charlotte's Gerald Wallace.
Newcomer Danilo Gallinari, who came to Denver in the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York, led the Nuggets with 30 points and nine rebounds.
Matthews' 3-pointer gave the Blazers a 100-97 lead in the extra period, but Arron Afflalo's 3-pointer tied it at 104.
Afflalo's 12-foot jumper put Denver ahead with a minute left. After Matthews missed one of two free throws, Aldridge hit a pair to put Portland up 107-106 with 23 seconds to go.
Gallinari missed a 3-pointer and Afflalo missed another on an inbound at the buzzer to give the Blazers the victory.
``It doesn't feel good because we lost, but we put up a good fight and had a great effort,' Gallinari said. ``It's tough to lose at the end, but we've got to take what's positive out of it.'
The Nuggets had an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter but the Blazers pulled within 91-88 on Roy's layup. Afflalo and Roy traded 3-pointers to make it 94-91 with 39 seconds to go. Roy's next shot would be the 25-footer that tied it at 97.
Roy was supposed to be limited to 15 minutes playing time, but on Friday played nearly 25. While Roy said he felt fine after the game, coach Nate McMillan said his intention is to keep Roy at his limit for the time being.
``The biggest thing is I've got to be patient,' Roy said.
Roy's knees sidelined him after a Dec. 15 game against Dallas until Wednesday night's 106-101 overtime loss to the Lakers. He had arthroscopic surgery on Jan. 17.
Before the game, the Blazers introduced Wallace, acquired in a trade Thursday with Charlotte. The Blazers sent centers Przybilla and Sean Marks, forward Dante Cunningham and two conditional first-round draft picks to the Bobcats.
The move left the Blazers thin at center while Marcus Camby rehabs from knee surgery. McMillan said the team would experiment in the interim, sliding Aldridge or even Nicolas Batum over to center.
Camby could be back as early as Sunday night's game against Atlanta.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, are integrating five new players after sending Anthony and Chauncey Billups to the New York Knicks. The new group was coming off an 89-75 victory over the Boston Celtics in Denver on Thursday night.
Wilson Chandler got his first start with Denver because Kenyon Martin had the flu and did not make the trip.
Portland led by as many as eight points early in the game, but Chandler's 3-pointer pulled the Nuggets into a tie at 32 midway through the second quarter.
Denver was never able to pull in front, and Roy's driving layup closed out the first half with the Blazers in front 49-39.
The Nuggets finally took a 61-60 lead in the third quarter on Afflalo's fast-break layup, then extended it on Chandler's layup. Denver went up 76-67 early in the fourth on Al Harrington's driving dunk.
Notes: Wallace watched the game from the bench, sitting next to injured Blazers center Greg Oden. When he was shown on the video scoreboard during the game to a rousing ovation, Wallace nodded. .. James Collier, 23, of Portland, wearing a Batum jersey, hit a half-court shot during a break in the first half to win a new Toyota. It was the first half-court shot for a car since the 2006-07 season. ... Olympian Dominque Dawes was among those attending the game.
The Associated Press News Service
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