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Gary Harris likely to return vs. Blazers after missing 11 games

In a wild Western Conference playoff race that will likely come down to the final day of the regular season, the Denver Nuggets (45-35) will likely get a ton of help tonight in their game against the Portland Trail Blazers with a key player’s return.

According to a tweet on Monday afternoon from NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Nuggets shooting guard Gary Harris is likely to make his return to head coach Mike Malone’s lineup tonight after missing the last 11 games due to a knee injury.

Denver, currently tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference, host the Blazers tonight before traveling to take on the Wolves on Wednesday night at Target Center. The Wolves, who currently have the tiebreaker right now over the Nuggets, host the lowly Memphis Grizzlies tonight.

Although the Blazers have already clinched a playoff spot, they still have a lot to play for and have lost three straight games. Currently the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, the Blazers also need the surging Utah Jazz to lose one of their remaining games in order to hold onto that spot.

Harris’ return is huge for Denver, who has already won five straight games heading into tonight’s crucial contest against the Blazers at Pepsi Center. In 65 starts this season for the Nuggets, the 23-year old guard is currently averaging 17.7 points on 48.6 percent shooting from the field, 3.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game in roughly 34.8 minutes of action per contest.