The Denver Nuggets will host the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. The betting line gives Denver a home court advantage of -4.
Obviously a very important game for both sides, the winner will steal all momentum and advantage with a victory in Game 5. If Portland can somehow come out victorious on the road then they will be playing Game 6 back home in Portland on Thursday. If the Nuggets can make it back-to-back wins then they’ll have an excuse if they lose in Game 6 because that will give them home court advantage in the Game 7 finale.
Denver Looking to Keep Momentum
The Nuggets were barely able to sneak by the Trail Blazers on Sunday. Thanks to a very poor third quarter by Portland, the Nuggets were able to steal a road victory 116-112. Denver trailed 63-57 heading into the half, but outscored Denver 27-14 in the third quarter to go home with the win.
Jamal Murray scored a team-high 34 points and Nikola Jokic finished with a triple-double. That has been the bread and butter for the Nuggets all season long. Let Jokic do his thing and get the shooters on the outside going. Jokic finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Murray went 10 for 20 from the field, shot 3 for 7 from deep, and shot a perfect 11-11 from the charity stripe. Veteran power forward Paul Millsap finished with a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Murray played out of his mind for the Nuggets and his performance is what Denver needs if they want to advance to the next round of the playoffs. Murray is averaging 21.7 points per game in the postseason and shooting 45% from the field. Jokic is nearly averaging a triple-double for the Nuggets with 24.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 9.3 assists.
Trail Blazers with Double Trouble
For Portland, the tandem of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum did there thing but didn’t receive much help from the rest of the starts. McCollum scored a team-high 29 points with Lillard right behind him with 28 points, as they accounted for half of the Blazers points. Al-Farouq Aminu had a surprising showing of 19 points and eight rebounds. Enes Kanter continues to battle back from a separated shoulder, as he finished with five points and 10 rebounds. Things just didn’t click for Portland in the third quarter and the Nuggets took advantage.
A game as important as Game 5 is usually when Damian Lillard pulls out all of his best tricks and puts his team on his back much like he did in the first round against Oklahoma City. Lillard is averaging the fourth-most points in the postseason at 30.4. McCollum is just a few spots below him in seventh with 25.3 points per game. This is a winnable series for the Trail Blazers as long as they remain consistent throughout the entirety of a game.
Home Team Wins Game 5
The winner of this series will take on the winner of Golden State and Houston whose series sits even at 2-2. We are going to bet the Nuggets at home in a tight one. Take Denver -4.