The Trail Blazers rely on defense to steal a game in Denver before returning home for Game 3
The Portland Trail Blazers avoided losing two in a row to the Denver Nuggets in their Western Conference Semifinal series. Portland was able to prove to the Nuggets and the rest of the Western Conference that they were more than just a one-man team. Superstar Damian Lillard scored just 14 points in Game 2, shooting 29% from the field (5-17). The 14 point total was the lowest Lillard has scored in the playoffs so far this season. C.J.McCollum led all scorers in the game, dropping 20 points on 8-20 shooting. McCollum is avaging 22.6 points per game this postseason, representing an elite second option to Damian Lillard.
The Nuggets will be disappointed with their effort in Game 2 on Wednesday. Denver could not shoot the ball from anywhere The Nuggets hit just 34% of their field goal attempts, 20% of their three-point attempts, and 61% of their free throw attempts. Jokic, Murray and Harris, three players who are usually clinical from downtown, were terrible in Game 2, shooting a combined 1-14 from three. Jokic, who is putting up 23.9 points per game in the playoffs, was held to just 16 points.
After such a poor shooting night, it appeared as if the fatigue may have caught up to the Denver Nuggets. Game 2 against the Blazers was the fifth game in nine days for the Nuggets, and it showed by their performance.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Nuggets, who will have just one day of rest to prepare for Game 3 in Portland. Denver went 1-1 in two games against the Blazers in Portland this season, but Friday’s atmosphere promises to be something special. The Blazers are 3-0 at home in the postseason so far, and will be the favorites to win Friday’s pivotal Game 3 matchup.