NBA Playoffs 2018-19: 3 Talking points from Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers - Game 4
Final Score: Denver Nuggets 116 - 112 Portland Trail Blazers
After an epic matchup in Game 3 that needed 4 overtimes to decide the winner, the two teams met once again for Game 4 with the Denver Nuggets looking to win the game and get back the home court advantage.
It was back-and-forth affair and the Blazers entered half-time with a 6-point lead. However, the Nuggets stormed back in the second half outscoring the Blazers 27-14 in the third quarter. The Blazers tried fighting back in the fourth quarter but the Nuggets would hold on to a victory, tying the series 2-2.
Let us take a look at three talking points from the Denver Nuggets' close win at the Moda Center, Portland.
#3 CJ McCollum's efficient shooting kept the Blazers in the game
Stat line: 29 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal on 50.0 % shooting
CJ McCollum's rise in the NBA is nothing short of legendary. The Lehigh product is one of the most underappreciated guards in the league and never really gets the attention or praise he truly deserves.
McCollum and Lillard are one of the best backcourt duos in the NBA and it is incredible how they led the Blazers to the third seed in West for two straight seasons. The 27-year-old was stellar in the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs, averaging 24.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game on 45.6 % shooting.
He entered the conference semifinals high on confidence but had a disappointing performance in Game 1, scoring just 17 points (7-for-17 shooting) in the loss. However, McCollum bounced back quickly in Game 2 (W) scoring 20 points and Game 3 (W) scoring 41 points in 60 minutes of action.
In Game 4, McCollum showed up once again as he made a basket whenever the Blazers needed one. With the Blazers down by 4 and just 6.7 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, he knocked down a quick catch-and-shoot two-pointer (the refs changed the ruling to two as his foot just touched the line) to cut the Nuggets' lead to two points.
McCollum finished the night with 29 points on 10-for-20 shooting. He is averaging 26.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game this series.