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Trail Blazers Earn 6th Seed, Face Nuggets in 2021 NBA Playoffs

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A dramatic final day of the NBA season came down to the wire, leaving Portland and Denver facing off.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Following a wild, firework-filled final day, the Portland Trail Blazers clinched the Western Conference’s No. 6 seed, setting a date with a familiar opponent: the Denver Nuggets.

After a wire-to-wire victory over the Denver to close out the 2020-21 regular season, the Portland Trail Blazers will be hoping those fortunes are a sign of things to come.

The Blazers had to take a bit of a wait-and-see approach, but after a Lakers win and Mavericks loss ensured a three-way tie at 42-30, Portland can now set their sights exclusively on Denver. Damian Lillard and the Blazers spoke adamantly about not seeking any particular matchup, or testing the karma of the seeding gods. They subsequently went out and proved it with a wire-to-wire victory over Denver, with Lillard, McCollum, and Nurkic each contributing 20+ points.

This will mark the fourth time that the Trail Blazers and Nuggets do battle in the Western Conference postseason. The Blazers own a 2-1 series edge so far, advancing past Denver during their famed 1977 and 2019 Playoff runs, and losing to them once in 1986.

In 2020-21, the Nuggets locked up the regular season series in 2-1 fashion with two early-season wins, albeit close ones. They defeated the Blazers in a 111-106 victory on Feb. 23, and sweated out a 106-105 win on Apr. 21. To solidify their seeding, the Blazers took the final meeting, a 132-116 win.