PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Round 2 of the NBA playoffs between the Blazers and the Denver Nuggets has turned into a best-of-3 between evenly matched teams.
The Nuggets evened their Western Conference semifinal series against the Blazers at 2-2 with a 116-112 victory Sunday.
The series moves to Denver for Game 5 on Tuesday. The two teams have met twice in the playoffs before, with each team winning once. The Nuggets took the season series against Portland, winning 3 of 4.
Game 5 begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and will be televised nationally on TNT. Game 6 returns to Portland for another 7:30 p.m. tipoff.
Nuggets: Torrey Craig, who got a bloody nose in Game 2 and wore a mask in Game 3, didn’t wear it on Sunday.
Trail Blazers: Jusuf Nurkic, who broke his leg late in the season, was at the game and got an ovation when he showed up courtside late in the opening quarter. Kanter, who signed with the Blazers just before the All-Star break after he was waived by the Knicks, replaced Nurkic in the starting lineup. Nurkic was awarded with the Maurice Lucas Award for the player that best represents Lucas’ indomitable spirit both on the court and in the community.
MURRAY MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
Nuggets coach Michael Malone praised Jamal Murray, who also had 34 points in the 4OT loss. Murray has been tasked with guarding Lillard.
“You think about how young we are and what we are doing, going on the road and winning a tough game in a hostile environment, and for Jamal to be the centerpiece of that has been phenomenal,” Malone said.
Nikola Jokic went to the bench late in the game holding his right knee, but later came back and appeared fine. Asked about it later, he said it was a bit numb. “I just got hit on the side of the knee but it’s OK,” he said.