Are you still awake, Rip City?
Using every last drop of energy, the Portland Trail Blazers grinded out a thrilling 140-137 quadruple-overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets to protect home court and seize a 2-1 series lead.
It was the first playoff game to reach 40T in 66 years and only the second in NBA history.
Although there are gold stars to award all around, CJ McCollum stood out the most and put up an absolutely bonkers stat line - 41 points, 16-39 FG, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in an exhausting just to read 60 minutes - doing much of the heavy lifting throughout the night.
But the final nail was driven in by Rodney Hood, who continued to be excellent in this series, knocking down two huge shots in the final OT period, including the clinching three pointer with 18 seconds to go as fresher legs prevailed.
Oh - Game 4 is less than 48 hours away.
Here are the coherent thoughts I have left after this game:
Gumby. Shrugging off a sprained ankle suffered in Game 2, Maurice Harkless started and hardly looked the lesser from it. He was his normal active self in 45 big minutes and came through with some clutch buckets towards the end of regulation to keep Portland alive. He double-doubled with 15 points, 10 boards, 3 assists and 2 blocks.
Nikola NoKic? Running parallel to Game 1, Nikola Jokic was much more aggressive looking for his shot, and to the woe of the Blazers, found it. Jokic mixed in a mechanical post game while re-discovering his outside shot (4 3PM) and was just generally a load for Portland all night. He played an absolutely ridiculous 65 minutes and hauled in an equally impressive triple-double with 33 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists - but the Blazers did force him into 8 turnovers.
Nails are tough as Kanter. If you look up “tough” in the dictionary, you would find the definition of “tough,” which is the only way to describe the play of Enes Kanter, who added another gutsy chapter to his legacy in Portland. Although appearing most of the night to be in extraordinary pain, Kanter balled out yet again, putting up 18 points, a team-high 15 boards and 3 steals. By overtime, even celebrating looked to cause him immense discomfort, but that didn’t stop him from logging 56 blue collar, workhorse minutes.
We stay in Portland for Game 4, Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.