Trail Blazers

Instant Analysis: Nuggets end Blazers season

Trail Blazers
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The Portland Trail Blazers put on an offensive show Thursday night.

It was at the other that let them down once again. 

As the Blazers faced elimination in Game 6 against the Denver Nuggets, the game quickly turned into a three-point shootout.

But with their backs against the wall, the Blazers were not able to force a Game 7.

After running away with the three-point efficiency early, the Nuggets got hot from deep in the second half. 

Portland wasn't able to get enough stops down the stretch. 

The Nuggets defeated the Blazers 126-115 to end Portland's season. 

Austin Rivers' three-pointer with 3:52 in the game put the Nuggets up 117-108.

With Nurkic in foul trouble, the Blazers put Robert Covington on Jokic in the final minutes of action. He took advantage of the smaller defender. Jokic finished with 36 points.  

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Between Norman Powell and Damian Lillard, the Blazers started off the game hitting 5-of-8 from three. 

But it was Michael Porter Jr. who was putting on a shooting clinic early.

The Nuggets starting small forward notched 22 of the Nuggets first 27 points. 

Portland took a 33-29 first-quarter lead, however, after shooting 66.7 percent from the field.

Lillard finished the first half with a buzzer-beating three-pointer to get the crowd on its feet and help the Blazers take 68-81 lead at the break.

The Blazers hot shooting continued in the second half led by Lillard, however the Nuggets never gave up even after getting down by 14 in the third quarter.

GAME 6 FINAL BOX SCORE: Nuggets 126, Trail Blazers 115

But, with Powell and Jusuf Nurkic both getting into foul trouble in the third, the Nuggets cut the lead to three heading into the final period.

Denver was once again without Will Barton (right hamstring; strain), PJ Dozier (right adductor; strain) and Jamal Murray (left ACL; surgery).

The Good:

Between Norman Powell and Damian Lillard’s efficient three-point shooting, Portland as a team found its rhythm on offense early. The duo combined for 32 points on 11-of-19 shooting in the first half.

A big storyline in this series has been about Jusuf Nurkic staying out of foul trouble. The Blazers starting center had zero fouls in the first half, while Nikola Jokic was charged with two first-half fouls. Nurkic also held Jokic to just nine first half points. But the third quarter was a different story when Nurk picked up four fouls. 

The Blazers took the momentum they built at the end of the second quarter into the start of the second half.

 

Portland started to extend its lead in the third after Robert Covington got involved in the three-point shooting party.

The Blazers trio of starting guards led the way on offense.

Lillard finished with 28 points and 13 assists, while McCollum added 21 and Powell notched 17.  

The Bad: 

Despite the Blazers picking up the intensity on the defensive end early, they were only able to disrupt any Nuggets player not named Michael Porter Jr. in the first quarter. To start the game, MPJ hit his first six shots. He notched 22 points in the first quarter on an efficient 8-of-10 shooting, including 6-for-7 from three. 

It was another big scoring night for Monte Morris off the bench for Denver. He provided 22 points and nine assists. 

The Nuggets wings had their way with the Blazers in the lane. In the footrace, Denver won more often than not. The Nuggets also got hot from three in the second half led by Morris.  

Norman Powell picked up his fourth foul with 7:15 remaining in the third. The Nuggets knew to attack both Powell and Nurkic in the final six minutes of the game. 

The Highlight:

It was Dame Time to end the half:

The Stat:

Portland finished the game shooting 50.6 percent from the floor. Denver shot 51.2 percent.