The Denver Nuggets have taken the lead in the first round series against the Portland Trail Blazers. In the 120: 115 victory, the main actor in the end is for once Austin Rivers.
Portland Trail Blazers (6) – Denver Nuggets (3) 115:120 (BOXSCORE), Serie: 1-2
The Guard scored 11 of his 21 points (7/14 FG) in the last six minutes of the game and put his team on the road to victory after the Nuggets had already lost a lead in the meantime. As usual, Nikola Jokic also appeared dominant, this time with 36 points (12/23), 10 rebounds and 5 assists. As a team, the Nuggets set a new franchise record with 20/38 threesomes – Michael Porter Jr. also helped with 3/5 (15 points).
The Blazers couldn’t quite keep up, even if they also hit a few threesomes in the final minutes and ended up with 14/45. Damian Lilard got 37 points, but only hit 5 of his 16 threesomes. CJ McCollum (22), Norman Powell (18) and Carmelo Anthony (17) also scored hard, but the problem with the Blazers was, as so often, that they could not generate any stops. Especially after Jusuf Nurkic (13, 13 rebounds) picked up his sixth foul.
The fouls were basically again an issue for the Blazers, which is why Lillard subsequently complained: “I had the feeling that everything we did was a foul. You could hear the whistle with every damned action,” said the superstar. “But there’s a lot we could have done differently. We can’t find excuses and blame it. I’m not saying that’s why we lost.”
After a hot first quarter of both teams, but especially the Nuggets (39:30), a lot smelled like a veritable shootout, but instead the game took a different direction, especially in the second half. The game in the third quarter was characterized by defensive and fighting, no team was able to pull away, with the Nuggets holding the majority of the game over the lead. In the middle of the fourth quarter the game was balanced at 91:91 after a three from Anthony.
Austin Rivers scores three threesomes for Denver in the final minutes
From then on, it was an unexpected player with Rivers who ultimately brought about the decision. The guard, who was brought in late in the season as a stopgap after Jamal Murray’s injury, sank three threes in the minutes after the equalizer – giving Jokic the counterpart he needed. The Serb himself had his fingers in the game in almost every action in crunchtime and either locked himself or put hits on his teammates, but every score was urgently needed.
Above all, Lillard and Anthony simply did not give up in the final phase. 25 seconds before the end, Melo shortened again to 6 points with another three after it had been 10 shortly before. Campazzo only hit one free throw, Lillard made room – only 116: 112! Now it was Monte Morris who got to the line with 7.9 seconds on the clock and kept his nerve. McCollum sank a triple again, but Jokic ended the game with a tip-in after Morris missed the last two free throws.
Rivers still earned the game ball after 16 points in the last quarter. “Every time I’ve fallen the deepest in my life, I’ve had my greatest successes,” said the Guard.
Game 4 of the series will also take place in Portland on Saturday evening at 10 p.m. German time.
Nuggets vs. Blazers: The Games of the Series
|1||23. May||4.30 a.m.||Nuggets||Blazers||109:123|
|2||25. May||4 o’clock||Nuggets||Blazers||128:109|
|3||28. May||4.30 a.m.||Blazers||Nuggets||115:120|
|4||29. May||22 O `clock||Blazers||Nuggets|