The Portland Trail Blazers now hold a 1-0 series lead in their First Round matchup against the Denver Nuggets.
Saturday in Game 1, the Blazers got off to a slow start at both ends, but it didn’t take long for Portland’s three-point shot to start falling. After hitting 19 of their 40 attempts, the Blazers cruised in the final minutes to a 123-109 victory.
Three-point shooting is going to be an even bigger emphasis for Denver heading into Game 2.
Nuggets head coach Mike Malone addressed the Blazers’ hot shooting from deep following Saturday's loss.
“I talked quite a bit about it during the week,” Coach Malone said. “How the number one concern was going to be 'can we guard the three-point line?' You look at the three regular-season matchups, in our two wins, I think they averaged 13 made threes, in their one win, they made 18. Obviously, tonight, it went up to 19. Too many breakdowns; to win a playoff game, especially when you're under-manned, you have to be on-point with everything. Great discipline with the game plan, great discipline in terms of guarding their personnel, and we didn't have it.”
The Trail Blazers are +1.5 point underdogs against the Nuggets in Game 2, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: +1.5 (-110) – Nuggets: -1.5 (-110)
MONEY LINE: -- Trail Blazers: +1.5 (-110) – Nuggets: -1.5 (-110)
OVER/UNDER: 227 points (-115)
PointsBet also offers over/under's for player props.
- Damian Lillard: 29.5 points, +145 to lead the game in points, 7.5 assists, 3.5 3's, 4.5 rebounds
- CJ McCollum: 21.5 points, +750 to lead the game in points, 4.5 assists, 2.5 3's, 4.5 rebounds
- Jusuf Nurkić: 14.5 points, +4000 to lead the game in points, 10.5 rebounds
- Norman Powell: 17.5 points, +2500 to lead the game in points, 1.5 3's,
- Robert Covington: 7.5 points, 1.5 3's, 6.5 rebounds
- Nikola Jokić: 30.5 points, +115 to lead the game in points, 7.5 assists, 1.5 3's, 11.5 rebounds
- Michael Porter Jr.: 24.5 points, +450 to lead the game in points, 3.5 3's, 8.5 rebounds
- Aaron Gordon: 11.5 points, +4000 to lead the game in points
- Facundo Campazzo: 9.5 points, +4000 to lead the game in points, 5.5 assists, 1.5 3's
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Monday, May 24
Where: Ball Arena | Denver, CO
Start time: 7:00 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The Blazers will be without Zach Collins (left ankle) for Game 2.
For the Nuggets, Will Barton (right hamstring; strain), PJ Dozier (right adductor; strain) and Jamal Murray (left ACL; surgery) are out.
Projected starting lineup:
For the Blazers –
- Damian Lillard
- CJ McCollum
- Norman Powell
- Robert Covington
- Jusuf Nurkic
For the Nuggets –
- Aaron Gordon
- Michael Porter Jr.
- Austin Rivers
- Nikola Jokic
- Frank Campazzo
What happened in Game 1:
First Round, Game 1 on Saturday, May 22 - Portland 123, Denver 109
It was Trail Blazers veteran and former Nugget Carmelo Anthony who got hot in the first quarter to really change the flow of Game 1 off the bench. The 18-year veteran scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting (3-3 3-PT, 1-1 FT) in just under five minutes of action.
Melo finished with 18 points and three rebounds, while Anfernee Simons also had an efficient shooting night adding 14 points in the win.
But it was Damian Lillard who led the Trail Blazers with 34 points, two rebounds and a playoff career-high 13 assists.
At the other end, the Blazers executed their gameplan of slowing down Nikola Jokic as a playmaker.
Jokic scored 34 points and pulled down 16 rebounds. But the Blazers held him to a season-low one assist. Michael Porter Jr. added 25 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks.