Jokic's 37 points leads Nuggets past Portland 121-113

Jokic's 37 points leads Nuggets past Portland 121-113

The Blazers find themselves down after Game 1, with Game 2 awaiting on Wednesday. Portland pushed back in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 101-96 with 8:57 left.

Portland never got much closer.

The Nuggets were coming off a 90-86 win over San Antonio 48 hours earlier, their first Game 7 victory since May 3, 1978, against Milwaukee.

The Portland Trail Blazers are going to have serious issues in this series if they're not able to defend anything, as they gave the Nuggets open looks from deep and couldn't do anything in the paint. The Portland Trail Blazers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games as a road underdog and have split their last 18 games ATS as an underdog overall.

Kanter, who signed with Portland after being waived by the Knicks following the trade deadline, was originally a backup to starter Jusuf Nurkic, but his role was magnified when Nurkic broke a leg March 25.

That's exactly the kind of mettle Malone was looking for from his team, the youngest in the West. A possession after he hit a straightaway 3 to cut the Nuggets' lead to nine with 2:23 left, Lillard rolled off a high screen some 30 feet from the basket and was clear to launch another.

"It was a little bit of a heated game when it came to the whistle for us. I thought our guys did a pretty good job". "So now we have to do it all over again".

Just two days after defeating the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7, Jokic put up 37 points in the 121-113 victory, making 11 of 18 shots and all 12 free throws to go with six assists and nine rebounds. The Nuggets will be led by triple-double machine Nikola Jokic, while the Blazers will have their normal leadership from Lillard and CJ McCollum. The Trail Blazers outshot the Nuggets 51.9% to 50.6%. The Denver Nuggets are averaging 107.1 points on 46.5 percent shooting and allowing 104.5 points on 47 percent shooting. The Nuggets are 4-1 at the Pepsi Center in the playoffs after going an NBA-best 37-4 at home during the regular season. The Portland Trail Blazers are shooting 40.1 percent from beyond the arc and 77.9 percent from the free throw line.

The Blazers and Nuggets are meeting for a third time in the postseason, with both winning one series. Denver, which had the best home record in the league during the regular season (37-4), rode a big game from Nikola Jokic to win its sixth straight at the Pepsi Center over Portland and take a 1-0 series lead.

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