Jamal Murray

Lillard, Blazers Send Series Back to Mile-High...

Los Angeles, CA — Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 62 points in a 119-108 victory in Game 6 that kept the series alive for the Blazers. The Blazers kept their season alive after falling to 3-2 in the series after a Game 5 loss. 

After not shooting the ball well, according to his standards, Lillard said after the 32 performance, "I think over the course of the series, at least after Game 1, I just haven't seen the ball go in consistently enough, and my job is to stay aggressive, keep doing what I do, and tonight, shots fell."

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Photo By: Oregonlive

Portland trailed by as many as 10 points in the opening quarter. They began the second quarter on an 11-4 run to start the second quarter, and the crowd was sensing the run by their hometown team, as they went into halftime with a 58-54 lead. 

The third quarter belonged to Lillard.  

He scored 17 of his game-high 32 in the third. Denver was able to take the lead again early in the quarter, but Portland, led by Lillard, never trailed again. They led by as many as 13 in the fourth before shutting the door on Denver's hopes of advancing. 

The bench showed up for the home team. They outscored Denver's bench 42-13 led by Rodney Hood's 25 points as he was 8-12 from the field, and made 3-4 from 3-pt. Seth Curry chipped in with 14 points.  

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Photo By: Yahoo sports

Denver had all five starters in double figures.  

They were led by All-Star Nikola Jokic, who had a double-double of 29 points and 12 rebounds. He also had a game-high eight assists before fouling out. He was 10-15 from the field, and 2-3 from 3-pt. Jamal Murray also had a double-double (first in post-season career) with 24 points and 10 rebounds. 

"We'll go back home, regroup, like we did for San Antonio, come back with energy and just be ready to play," Murray said.

Paul Millsap had 17 points, and Gary Harris chipped in with 15. 

"I thought our Game 6 here in Portland was better than our Game 6 in San Antonio," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "Now we go home and have the best home-court advantage in the NBA." He might be right. His team was better in rebounding and assists, while committing three less turnovers (9-6). 

Now we head back to the Mile High City for a Game 7.  

 "It's basically a game where only one team is going to make it out," Lillard said. "It's your last opportunity to play, so facing elimination is what it is to me, and that's going to be my approach, just like it was tonight. The only thing is that it's going to be on the road. It's for our season. All the marbles."

Saturday 5/10. 

 

 

Jokic, Nuggets Tie Series Heading Back To Mile High...

Los Angeles, CA.-- After 20 minutes of extra basketball (4 overtimes) on Friday night between the Portland Trailblazers and the Denver Nuggets, they turned around and got right back at it in less than 48 hours. 

The longest postseason game in about seven decades went to the Blazers and Denver knew the game on Sunday evening was a "must-win." Regardless of Denver still be technically alive in the series if they were to lose, they knew they couldn't fall to 3-1. 

They came out desperate and weathered the storm from the Blazers, and won Game 4 116-112. 

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Photo By: Denver Post

All-Star Nikola Jokic has been a problem for this team in the first three games, and Game 4 was no different. Despite playing 65 minutes in that quadruple overtime game, he had his second straight triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assist. It was his fourth triple-double of the 2019 playoffs in just 11 games. He spoke after the game about this team resilience, "I think it's not quitting. We have a lot of competitive guys who don't want to lose. I think we don't want to lose more than we like to win -- which is weird," Jokic said. "We just didn't want to have the excuse that we lost because of four overtimes, because we were tired."

His teammates felt the same way. 

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Photo By: Oregonian

Specifically Jamal Murray, who scored a game-high 34 points answered the challenge. He made all 11 of his free throw attempts and hit the critical one's that helped close the game for the Nuggets. 

They knew the challenge in front of them of trying to win a critical game on an opponents home floor, against a team that has yet to lose on their home floor.  

"Our guys are tough. We're resilient," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "I mean, to come in here and win this game 36 hours after losing in four overtimes, speaks to just how tough we are." 

Veteran Paul Millsap had a big game himself with a double-double. He scored 21 points (6-10) FG and 10 rebounds. Gary Harris chipped in with 14 points. 

The Nuggets grabbed 17 offensive rebounds.  

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Photo By: Sean Meagher

"It is disappointing. You go up 3-1 and you have a lot of momentum and obviously that would be a great position to be in. But they're a good team, they came out and played well," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "We had a bad third quarter and that kind of made the difference. We made a good comeback, but now it's a three-game series."

The Blazers were outscored 27-14 in the third quarter.  

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 57 points, and made half of the teams 12 3-pointers. Lillard had seven assist to go along with his 28 points. 

Al-Farouq Aminu had 19 points and eight years. Seth Curry had 16 points off the bench as he made 4-6 from 3-pt. Curry knocked down three straight at one point in the third quarter. 

Enes Kanter said after Friday's game that the shoulder separation was worse, and wasn't sure he could play. He did play and in 29 minutes had five points, but did have a team-high 10 rebounds. 

Series tied at 2. 

Game 5 Tuesday 5/7 in Denver.