With another excellent performance from Serbian Nikola Jokic, the Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 126-115 on Thursday and won their first-round series of the NBA Western Conference playoffs 4-2.
In another dramatic fight between the two teams in these playoffs, the Nuggets closed the series despite the heroic play of star canastero Damian Lillard, who was voted Best Teammate in the regular season on Thursday.
The Nuggets are coming off a historic win in the previous game in overtime on Tuesday, in which Lillard scored 55 points, including a playoff-record 3-pointers (12), beating Klay Thompson’s 11 on May 28, 2016 against Oklahoma City.
The Trail Blazers opened the second half with a 14-7 run, doubling their lead to the biggest at 82-68, but Serbian Jokic scored 20 of his points for Denver in the third quarter and the Nuggets closed the period up front. 101-98.
The Nuggets scored six of the first eight points in the fourth to take the lead at 102-101, their first lead since 22-20 on a Monte Morris 3-pointer.
Jokic finished with 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists, followed by Michael Porters Jr. with 26 points. Argentine Facundo Campazzo contributed 10 cards to Denver’s triumph.
“No one can take the fight out of us,” Jokic said after the game. We went out and fought. That’s what we’re doing. We will never give up. Giving up is not in our vocabulary. We will continue to go out and fight, “added the Serbian.
For Portland, Lillard was the best again with 28 points and 13 assists.
Veteran Carmelo Anthony showed some of his flair when he was among the star players in the league, hitting a long-range shot and participating in a three-point play to give the Blazers some breathing space, which they predicted would be another great battle until the final stretch.
From the beginning Porter Jr. had kept Denver in the fray by opening the game with six straight shots, five of them on 3s, on his way to 22 points in the first quarter, the most of any Nuggets player in a game. playoff game since 1998.
The 22-year-old American forward scored his 26 first-half points to lead the Nuggets in that stretch, while Portland’s Lillard scored 19 points in the first half, to give the Blazers a 68-61 lead in the middle. weather.
Lillard entered the game averaging 35.6 points and 9.6 assists and an ERA of 47.8% from 3-point range.
Meanwhile, his rival Jokic averaged 32.4 points, 11.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game before the game in the series with “double-doubles” in three of the first five games from the top. (GG) (AFP)