Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers NBA Conference Quarterfinals Preview and Picks
After an epic game that included one of the best individual performances in NBA playoff history, the Denver Nuggets will look to close out their Western Conference first-round series against host Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night at the sixth game.
Despite Damian Lillard's heroic 55-point attempt for the Blazers in Game 5, the Nuggets hold a 3-2 series lead following a 147-140 home win in double overtime on Tuesday.
Lillard set the playoff record for more than three runs scored with 12, beating Klay Thompson's 11 on May 28, 2016 against Oklahoma City.
Lillard's scoring start was also a Portland franchise record for a playoff game.
Lillard is averaging 35.6 points and 9.6 assists and is shooting 47.8 percent from 3 points while making 6.4 attempts per game from distance during the series.
And that's after bouncing back from a lousy 1-for-10 shooting performance (1-for-6 in 3-point range) in Game 4, a game the Blazers won.
Lillard scored 17 of Portland's 19 combined points in both overtime, but was scoreless during the final 3:47 of the game and did not shoot in the final 3:02.
Denver led by no less than 22 in the first half before the Blazers came back on a 30-11 streak to close the lead at 65-62 at halftime.
Lillard made 3 points to keep the game at the end of the rule and the first overtime.
But the Nuggets scored a combined 26 points in overtime and were again led by MVP contender Nikola Jokic, who posted a forward triple-double with 38 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Jokic is averaging 32.4 points, 11.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in the series with double-doubles in three of the five games so far.
Michael Porter Jr. provided the deciding points on a 3-pointer with 1:33 remaining in the second overtime and finished with 26 points, while Monte Morris scored 28 points off the Nuggets bench.
Morris's two free throws with 8.0 seconds to go, followed by Shaquille Harrison's two free throws with 3.8 seconds to go, sealed the score.
Will Barton (right hamstring strain), PJ Dozier (right adductor strain) and Jamal Murray (left anterior cruciate ligament surgery) remain Denver's only injuries, while Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) ) is outside of Portland.
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