Big Games for Gary Trent, Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram on Thursday


The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets 125-115 to pull to within a half game of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Gary Trent Jr. again sparked the Blazers, continuing his red hot play in the Orlando Bubble. Trent played 36 minutes off the bench and hit 7-of-10 from three, 10-of-15 from the field to score 27 points, his most since hitting 30 on Jan. 18. The seven threes matched a career high set two games earlier in the Bubble. Trent is averaging 20.3 ppg since the NBA restarted, after averaging 7.7 ppg in the season up until that point. Trent also had four assists and two steals in the game.

Mason Plumlee also had a big game, coming off the bench for 27 minutes for the Nuggets. He hit 5-of-9 from the field for 13 points and added seven rebounds and five assists. The scoring output was one fewer than he totaled in his first three Bubble games and it was his best scoring outing since he put up 16 on March 3.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Houston Rockets, 113-97. Quinn Cook got his first start of the season for the Lakers. He struggled with his shot, however, hitting just 2-of-12 from the field for six points. He also had four rebounds and a team-high four assists. His 29 minutes of playing time were a season high and the most for Cook since he had 32 on Nov. 26, 2018, with Golden State.

Austin Rivers logged 32 minutes off the bench for Houston, hitting 2-of-7 from three for 11 points. He added five assists.

Seth Curry missed his second straight game for Dallas with a sore leg.

The New Orleans Pelicans’ quest for a playoff berth took another hit when they lost to the Sacramento Kings, 140-125. Harry Giles played one scoreless minute for the Kings.

The Pelicans were led by Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, who each scored a team-high 24.

Ingram hit 8-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 from three. He moved past Mike Lewis into 24 place on Duke’s NBA scoring list.

Williamson hit 10 of his 12 shots. Williamson passed Vince Taylor into 61 place on the Duke scoring list.

JJ Redick hit 5-of-10 from three for 18 points in 22 minutes off the bench. Frank Jackson hit 2-of-6 from three for eight points in 22 minutes.