With the series tied at two apiece, the Trail Blazers and Nuggets will tip-off at 6:00p.m. PT Tuesday night in a pivotal Game 5.
Just how important is Tuesday’s contest for Portland?
“Each game becomes more important,” Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts explained following Monday’s practice. “It’s just the nature of playoff basketball. So the answer to your question -- yeah, Game 5 is going to be the most important game of the series until we get to Game 6.”
Coach Stotts also added that they need to “limit [Denver's] runs” while sustaining a certain level of energy and focus on the defensive end like they did in Game 4.
After bringing the energy and focus on the defensive end as a team in the Blazers' 115-95 Game 4 victory, Portland also got a big boost from Norman Powell. The former Toronto Raptor wing matched his postseason career high with 29 points to go along with two rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks.
That marked the fifth-time Powell has scored 20-plus points in a playoff game.
Tuesday, the Trail Blazers are +1.5 point underdogs against the Nuggets, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: +1.5 (-110) – Nuggets: -1.5 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Tuesday, June 1
Where: Ball Arena | Denver, CO
Start time: 6:00 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 5. Portland also announced Monday after practice that Jusuf Nurkic (left thumb; contusion) is available.
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 last game:
First Round, Game 4 -- Portland 115, Denver 95 — May 29 at Moda Center
The Trail Blazers dominated in Game 4 to take a 115-95 victory Saturday afternoon.
CJ McCollum had 21 points, four rebounds, and set a career playoff-high with eight assists behind Norman Powell’s 29.
Nikola Jokic led Denver with a series-low 16 points on 7-of-18 shooting, including 1-of-4 from 3-PT to go along with nine rebounds and one assist in 27 minutes.
The Blazers held the Nuggets to 34.0 percent shooting for the game.