Damian Lillard’s will to win is undeniable. He is never afraid of taking on a challenge and for a while, it looked like he was going to be able to once again carry the Portland Trail Blazers to a victory with his unstoppable shooting.
Lillard broke Klay Thompson’s record for most threes made in a playoff game today by hitting 12 of his 17 threes on the way to 55 points, six rebounds, 10 assists, a steal and three blocks along with only a single turnover.
He also made all of the Blazers’ big buckets: the three that tied the game with 3.7 seconds left in regulation, another three with 6.6 seconds left in the first overtime to again tie the game, and another pair of triples in the second overtime that gave the Blazers a lead.
Dame finally ran out of steam in without around three minutes left in the second OT and didn’t make another shot, and the Nuggets defended his teammates excellently to close it out 147-140 and take the 3-2 series lead.
Game 5 was one hell of a classic game, and was certainly the most competitive game of the day. At this point, though, Lillard must be wondering what the hell he had to do to get a W, as the series now shifts back to Portland for a win or go home challenge.
CJ McCollum will rue his rough night, as scored 18 points but shot 7 of 22 from the field and 2 of 8 from three. Carmelo Anthony will also regret that he went 3 of 11 from the field for eight points.
The Nuggets got a classic show from Nikola Jokic, who just missed a triple-double with 38 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, a steal and four blocks. The big man also only turned the ball over twice and had a single personal foul for the entire game.
Michael Porter Jr. was money from the field too, shooting 10 of 13 on the way to 26 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals. The Nuggets’ other big energizer was Monte Morris, who was fearless and had 28 points, three rebounds and five assists. He also hit four big three pointers and shot 10 of 11 from the free throw line.
I’m honestly still at a loss for words at what I just witnessed. It’s unfortunate that Lillard didn’t get enough help on the scoring end from his teammates, but man was it fun to watch him carry the Blazers on his back.
Full credit must go to the Nuggets, too, as they played a hell of a game and deserved the victory after finally honing in and getting stops toward the end of the second overtime. This game is going to be played on NBA Classics.
This overtime winwill feel a little sweet to Jokic, too, as I’m sure he still remembers losing a quadruple-overtime against the Blazers in Game 3 of the 2019 west semifinals. He played an astounding 65 minutes in that game, and I’m not sure how he didn’t just pass out from exhaustion in that game.