The Portland Trail Blazers played behind throughout the second half, coming up short against the Denver Nuggets (Box Score). Denver takes a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven second round NBA Playoff series with Portland. Damian Lillard scored 39 points on 21 shots but it was far from enough.
Here were a few essentials from a disappointing night in Denver.
Defense Optional. Neither team could stop the other at the offensive end, leaving to a high-scoring contest that was lots of fun for casual viewers on national TV. But, at times, a quite frustrating game for fans of each team.
The fouls weren’t the cause, but they sure didn’t help. Portland was on the wrong side of the free throw count all night, and Jokic was getting the definition of “benefit of the doubt”. But in the end, Denver outplayed Portland in Game 1, and the Blazers will need to regroup during the off-day.
No answers for Jokic or Millsap. With Jusuf Nurkic done for the year, and Enes Kanter clearly hurting? You knew Jokic would be a problem. And it was no surprise when he torched the Blazers. Of course, this also applied to Paul Millsap, who looks like one of Denver’s best free agent signings, ever.
Not much from the wings. Al-Farouq Aminu had a very, very bad night. Calling it “forgettable” would be charitable. And Moe Harkless fouled out in the fourth quarter, finishing with 2 points.
The teams pick up Wednesday night in Denver for Game 2.