Looking at the highlights from Game 5, you would think the Portland Trail Blazers came out on top given Damian Lillard’s insane 55 points. Unfortunately for the Blazers, though, the Denver Nuggets grabbed the win with a balanced offensive attack led by MVP candidate Nikola Jokic’s 38 points. Denver is now in position to close out the first-round series on the road in Portland, but Lillard and the Blazers surely won’t go down easily.
Ahead of Game 6, here’s everything you need to know:
(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Portland Trail Blazers
- Date: Thursday, June 3 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Location: Moda Center — Portland, Oregon
- TV: TNT | Live stream: TNT
- Odds: DEN +175; POR -200 | O/U: 227.5 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets
Nuggets: Denver overcame a record-breaking performance by Lillard to secure the pivotal Game 5 win, and got great production from the likes of Michael Porter Jr., Monte Morris and Austin Rivers in the process. Morris isn’t going to go off for 28 points off the bench every night, but it’s an encouraging sign to see if the Nuggets do advance in the postseason. The key to closing out this series in six games will be to do basically the exact same thing they did in Game 5: make everyone around Lillard beat you. It worked in Game 5, even though all five starters scored in double figures. But Denver has the better depth, which was the difference maker.
Trail Blazers: There really isn’t much more Lillard can do to try and will his team to a win, and to be honest, outside of CJ McCollum who had 18 points, you couldn’t ask for much more from Robert Covington (19 points), Norman Powell (13 points) and Jusuf Nurkic (13 points, 10 rebounds). It would certainly help if the Blazers got better production out of their bench, as Carmelo Anthony put up just eight points, and Anfernee Simons added just six of his own. Portland is going to need those guys to step up if they’re going to have a shot to extend this series to seven games.
The Nuggets will be motivated to finish this series off in six games, and I simply just don’t trust the Blazers’ depth enough to provide significant help for Lillard and McCollum. Pick: Nuggets +5