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Eight of 11 remaining games will be in Portland, lending hope in the pursuit of Denver

TRIBUNE PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - JUSUF NURKICJeff Hornacek got a pretty good look at what the Trail Blazers are all about Thursday night at Moda Center.

And after Portland's 110-95 victory over Hornacek's New York Knicks, the first-year coach wasn't ready to pronounce the Blazers the favorite to pass Denver and gain the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. He wasn't counting the Blazers out, either.

"It's up in the air, but they can get it," Hornacek said, citing his primary reasons as the presence of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. "Their two guards can shoot 'em in any game.

"And they can do it one-on-one, too. In the playoffs, that comes into play in big moments. You need guys who can go down and get a bucket, and they have a couple of those."

The Blazers now have center Jusuf Nurkic, too.



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