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SportMcCollum leads Blazers past cold Nuggets, 97-90

07:25  02 may  2019
07:25  02 may  2019 Source:   ap.org

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Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, left, fights for control of a rebound with Portland Trail Blazers forward DENVER (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 20 points, picking up the slack with backcourt mate Damian Lillard struggling, and the Portland Trail Blazers turned back the Denver Nuggets 97 - 90

CJ McCollum led six Trail Blazers in double figures with 20 points in a 97 - 90 victory at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night that evened their series 1-1. The Nuggets trimmed a 17-point, third-quarter deficit to 95-90 in the final minute thanks to an astonishing 14 offensive rebounds in the fourth

McCollum leads Blazers past cold Nuggets, 97-90© The Associated Press Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, left, fights for control of a rebound with Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu during the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER — CJ McCollum scored 20 points, picking up the slack with backcourt mate Damian Lillard struggling, and the Portland Trail Blazers turned back the Denver Nuggets 97-90 Wednesday night to even their playoff series at 1-1.

The Trail Blazers led by 15 at halftime, 17 in the third quarter and 14 to start the fourth but the Nuggets pulled to 95-90 in the final minute thanks to an astonishing 14 offensive rebounds and a 19-9 run before Rodney Hood's two free throws with 17 seconds left iced it.

Bold predictions for Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets Game 5

Bold predictions for Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets Game 5 The Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets are all knotted up at two games apiece in their Western Conference Semifinals matchup heading into Game 5. 

DENVER — CJ McCollum scored 20 points, picking up the slack with backcourt mate Damian Lillard struggling, and the Portland Trail Blazers turned back the Denver Nuggets 97 - 90 Wednesday night to even their playoff series at 1-1. The Trail Blazers led by 15 at halftime, 17 in the third quarter and 14

CJ McCollum picks up for a cold -shooting Damian Lillard and scores 20 points in Portland's 97 - 90 win over the Denver Nuggets . Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, right, is defended by Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter during the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff

BOX SCORE: TRAIL BLAZERS 97, NUGGETS 90

Lillard added 14 points but was just 5 of 17 from the floor and 1 of 7 from 3-point range. Still, the Blazers seized the home-court advantage with the series shifting to Portland for Game 3 on Friday night.

Nikola Jokic had 16 points and 14 boards but got off to a slow start and wasn't nearly the take-control force he was in Game 1, when he scored 37 points.

With Jokic taking — and missing — just one shot in the first quarter and scoring six points in the first half, the Nuggets trailed 50-35 at halftime after the franchise's worst quarter ever at home in the playoffs, one in which they made just 5 of 23 shots and missed all 10 of their 3-pointers.

To top it off, they lost sparkplug forward Torrey Craig, whose nose was bloodied after he was knocked down and slammed into teammate Monte Morris' foot early in the second quarter.

Top takeaways from Blazers-Nuggets Game 5

Top takeaways from Blazers-Nuggets Game 5 Teams that win Game 5 in a series that’s tied 2-2 have gone on to take said series 82 percent of the time. If that’s the case, it sure looks like the Denver Nuggets will be playing in the Western Conference Finals. Hosting the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday night, Denver had its way throughout the evening. From Paul Millsap’s red-hot start to Nikola Jokic’s continued excellence, Denver dominated at nearly every turn in a 124-98 win. These are

CJ McCollum scored 20 points, and the Portland Trail Blazers turned back the Denver Nuggets 97 - 90 to even their playoff series at 1-1. Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum , right, drives by Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball second-round

CJ McCollum led six Trail Blazers in double figures with 20 points in a 97 - 90 victory at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night that evened their series 1-1. The Nuggets trimmed a 17-point, third-quarter deficit to 95-90 in the final minute thanks to an astonishing 14 offensive rebounds in the fourth

Moments after Craig hobbled off, leaving a trail of blood, Maurice Harkless rolled his right ankle and also left the game. Harkless didn't return but Craig came back in the second half.

Jokic had just six points at the half, when the Nuggets were booed off the court after missing their final eight shots. Denver's backcourt was just 5 of 18 in the first half, including 2 of 11 from Jamal Murray, who would miss much of the fourth quarter while trying to loosen up his tight right thigh he hurt in the last series.

Craig, whose insertion into the starting lineup turned around the Nuggets' first-round series against San Antonio, returned with a face mask with 3 minutes left in the third quarter. He immediately grabbed a rebound and his 3-pointer with a minute left in the quarter was Denver's first since 1:11 of the first quarter.

SCUFFLE

Jokic pushed Enes Kanter, who slammed into Craig with 43.5 seconds left on a made free throw. Murray took exception to Kanter staring down the fallen Craig and a scuffle ensued at midcourt. Teammates raced to break them up and the two were assessed a double technical.

Blazers eke out Game 7 victory over Nuggets

Blazers eke out Game 7 victory over Nuggets Blazers eke out Game 7 victory over Nuggets

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, left, fights for control of a rebound with Portland Trail Blazers forward DENVER (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 20 points, picking up the slack with backcourt mate Damian Lillard struggling, and the Portland Trail Blazers turned back the Denver Nuggets 97 - 90

Inside The NBA | Shaq & Charles Barkley react to McCollum leads Blazers past cold Nuggets , 97 - 90

TIP-INS:

Portland: Starting forwards Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu combined for 10 points in the first quarter after being held to a combined four points in Game 1. ... Kanter had a second consecutive solid game despite coming back from a separated shoulder in Portland's Game 5 clincher over Oklahoma City. ... Like Jokic, Lillard got off to a slow start, making just 2 of 8 shots and all of his 3-pointers in the first half.

Denver: The Nuggets missed 23 of 29 3-pointers but didn't attack the basket until the second half. ... Denver is 6-6 all-time against the Trail Blazers in the playoffs. ... Will Barton sank two foul shots with 8:19 left in the fourth quarter after an odd sequence in which the Jokic missed a jumper and the Nuggets missed five putbacks before the whistle blew.

UP NEXT:

Game 3 is Friday night in Portland.

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Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Related slideshow: 2019 NBA Playoffs (Provided by imagn)

McCollum leads Blazers past cold Nuggets, 97-90
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