Ahead of Portland and Denver’s Game 6 Thursday night, the Trail Blazers are focused on their quick start on the defensive end as they face elimination.
“We need to do what we did in Game 4 in particular, but also in Game 3 – we came out at home and we were aggressive, had some very good defensive possessions early, set the tone and that’s what we need. We need to do it at the defensive end," Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said Wednesday.
“We need to lock-in on personal tendencies, go after balls, rebound the ball – do all the little things that matter in these types of games.”
The Trail Blazers and Nuggets combined for 287 points in Game 5, which is the second most in a game in NBA playoff history. The most points in a postseason game was a total of 304 back in May of 1992 when the Blazers notched 153 points defeating Phoenix by two.
The Trail Blazers have outscored the Nuggets by a combined 54 points when Jusuf Nurkic is on the floor this series.
But with Portland’s three losses in the series, Nurk has fouled out of every one of them.
Thursday at Moda Center, the Trail Blazers are -5 point favorites against the Nuggets, odds provided by our partner PointsBet.
POINT SPREAD: -- Trail Blazers: -5 (-110) – Nuggets: +5 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Thursday, June 3
Where: Moda Center | Portland, OR
Start time: 5:00 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 6.
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 last time out:
First Round, Game 5 - Denver 147, Portland 140 (2OT) at Ball Arena
Tuesday’s Game 5 became an instant classic performance from Damian Lillard, but even with his historic night the Nuggets still bested the Blazers in a 147-140 double-overtime victory.
Lillard set an NBA playoff record with 12 made three-pointers. He also became the first player in league history to record 55 points and 10 assists in a playoff game.
CJ McCollum added 18 points after going just 7-of-22 from the field to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists.
Robert Covington recorded 19 points, 11 boards and two steals in the loss.
It was the third game of the series where Jusuf Nurkic fouled out. But before he committed his sixth foul in the final four minutes of regulation, he notched 13 points, 11 rebounds and one assist, steal and block.
It was once again Nikola Jokic who led Denver with 38 points, but the Nuggets also got plenty of scoring from their bench.
Monte Morris finished with a career-high 28 points.