The Trail Blazers and Nuggets have split the first four games of their first-round playoff series, with each team winning a game on the other’s court.
And as the teams get ready for Game 5 in Denver Tuesday night, is this beginning to look familiar?
In the 2019 Western Conference semi-finals, these teams squared off and the Nuggets also held homecourt advantage.
The teams also headed into Game 5 with two wins apiece after failing to win both home games.
The cliché is that Game 5 is “pivotal” and the team winning it has a big advantage. But it didn’t turn out that way in 2019.
Denver overwhelmed Portland in that Game 5, winning at home 124-98. The Nuggets dominated from the start and held a 65-47 halftime lead.
That left the Nuggets with a chance to move on to the Western Conference finals with two chances to win one game – and Game 7 in Denver.
And the Nuggets couldn’t pull it off.
The Blazers rallied from the Game 5 debacle and sent the series back to Colorado with a 119-108 Moda Center win.
And then Portland marched into Denver and pinned a 100-96 Game 7 loss on the Nuggets to win the series.
It was a memorable series.
The Blazers won Game 3 in four overtimes as Rodney Hood came off the bench to score seven of his team’s 11 points in that final overtime period to deliver a 140-137 win.
Then in the tense Game 7, CJ McCollum’s 37 points and a spectacular chase-down blocked shot propelled Portland to a very special road win.
This series has yet to provide such memorable moments – or even close games. Denver’s five-point win in Game 3 has been the closest outcome and it was made close only by a very late Portland rally that was too little, too late.
The average margin of victory in the first four games of this series, in fact, has been 14.5 points.
Not exactly edge-of-your-seat viewing.
But that just may mean more drama is ahead. At some point, there is surely going to be a narrow margin of victory.
But will it be deja vu at the end?
There isn’t likely to be another four-overtime game, but Blazer fans certainly will be rooting for history to repeat itself if it goes seven games.
And that, in itself, would be dramatic.