Trail Blazers

Blazers vs. Nuggets: How Game 3 has major implications to winning the series

Trail Blazers

In the playoffs, every game matters. Every play matters. 

And teams are trying to find a leg up any way they can.

With the Blazers able to secure a win on the road in Game 1, it put a ton of pressure on the Denver Nuggets to respond in Game 2-- and they did.

Now, the series is tied 1-1 heading to Portland and SportsRadar is laying out the Blazers' chances of securing a win in Game 3 and more. 

The Blazers will host a season-high 8,000 fans at Moda Center for Game 3, but coming off their Game 2 loss, the team only has a 37% chance of winning the game.

Such low odds for the Blazers could be because of the Nuggets record on the road at 22-14, which tied Portland for second in the league. The Nuggets are also the higher seed. 

At home this season, Portland was 20-16, good enough for 15th in the league. They did end the regular-season on a four-game winning streak at their own arena.

Heading into Game 3, Portland has a 28.9% chance of winning the series, but a win would almost double their odds up to 47.5%. A loss will plummet their probability of advancing to the second-round to 11%.

The Blazers have defied the odds before, but based on the aforementioned numbers, there’s a lot riding on a possible 2-1 series lead.

Away teams to have won Game 1 followed by losing Game 2 are 30-47 in those series, since 1984. The 2020 postseason saw three away teams, including the Blazers against the Lakers, winning the series-opener on the road, only to be gentlemen swept.


Including last year against the Lakers, Portland also lost their 2010 series to Phoenix after taking Game 1 on the road and losing Game 2.

Such a scenario may actually be an advantage for Denver. Teams that begin a series with home-court advantage and lose Game 1, followed by winning Game 2 have won the last seven playoff series.  

Since 2010, only seven away teams have won the series opener, lost the second game, and won the series.

All in all, historically speaking, the winner of Game 3 with the series tied 1-1 go on to win the series 73.3% of the time. 

That's the stat that may matter the most to the Blazers, and give them confidence on winning the series if they take care of business.