The Denver Nuggets saved the ballot at home and tied the series against the Portland Trail Blazers after a hard-fought 128-109 victory that came after a physical encounter and muddy. Nikola Jokic, with 38 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, was the main response to the shooting festival of Damian Lillard, which ended with 42 points and 10 assists in a brilliant first half.
The Portland guard had 8 triples and 32 points before the break., a number of goals that tied the playoff record, during a game that had various tense and physical moments.
The referees noted four technical fouls, one for a very hot Jokic throughout the match, and two flagrant type 1s for CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony. The start of hostilities came soon after a clash between Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic under the hoops. After a timeout, both teams began to fight each other from the sidelines, with techniques falling to Michael Porter Jr. and Portland assistant coach Nate Tibbetts.
The thing escalated when Melo pushed the Serbian star and won the first flagrant 1 of the match. Mount morris, on the horn of the halftime, took a technique that carried over to the start of the second half with a free kick from Lillard.
Obviously a basketball game was played last nightAlthough the playoff atmosphere and growing crowd made it feel like old times in Denver. To control Lillard and McCollum, which ended with 21 points, the Nuggets focused on keep Melo and Anfernee Simons at bay, which made them a painting in the opening game of the series.
Despite the Lillard festival, the locals knew how to control the pace of the meeting and they took all the game rooms. In the last period, when they were 20 up, the Nuggets had to put up with a small hint of an opponent’s comeback, but a triple by Facundo Campazzo sealed the victory definitively.
The Argentine was key with 12 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and a block in 30 minutes of play in the match. The former Madrid player confirmed once again that he is well qualified to play in the NBA and, above all, contribute to the big games.
Besides Jokic and the Facu, Denver needed to pull all its resources to tie the tie: Michael Porter Jr. bounced back with 18 points and 3-for-6 from the perimeter in his horrendous series debut (1-10 on 3s); Paul millsap He contributed his veteran touch with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists; Aaron Gordon he added 13 points and 6 rebounds; Y Mount morris He was key off the bench with 12 points and 7 assists.
The six premises with double digits they contrasted with the three visitors above ten points. Just Norman Powell, with 15 so many, was able to complement the offensive performance of Lillard and McCollum. Outgunned in the paint (54-32) and in the loss section (12-21), the Blazers couldn’t get out of the slapping game last night.
Nurkic ended up expelled by accumulating fouls 10 minutes from the end, which left an insurmountable gap in the paint against a guy like Jokic, who did not forgive the slip. Nuggets coach Michael Malone made it clear after the game:
“I trust Nikola 1,000%”. Said it remains.