NBA Playoffs 2018-19: 3 talking points from Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers - Game 6
- Damian Lillard powered the Trail Blazers to a victory in Game 6, forcing the series into a decider.
Denver Nuggets, quite unexpectedly, took seven games to send the San Antonio Spurs packing in the very first round of the playoffs this year. Now, they have another cracker of a Game 7 to deal with if they are to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2009.
"I thought our Game 6 here in Portland was better than our Game 6 in San Antonio," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "Now we go home and have the best home-court advantage in the NBA."
Damian Lillard and his troops rallied in Game 6 to seal a comprehensive 119-108 win as they refused to see their season come to an end in front of their home crowd. Tied at 3-apiece, the series now heads back to Denver for the decider.
On that note, let's draw some key takeaways from this thrilling encounter between two of the most talented Western Conference teams.
#1 Trail Blazers' backcourt duo come to the rescue - yet again
In a series where his outside shot has been pressed and his penetration cut off, Dame took the challenge on himself to come through when his team's season was on the line. He scored a game-high total of 32 points (17 of which came in the third period alone) and provided some much-needed separation in the second half.
"I think over the course of the series, at least after Game 1, I just haven't seen the ball go in consistently enough," Lillard said. "My job is to stay aggressive, keep doing what I do, and tonight, shots fell."
At 11-of-23 from the field and 6-of-13 from downtown, this might not be the most efficient Dame has ever been but that certainly didn't stop him from being aggressive on every possession.
His backcourt mate and Lehigh product, CJ McCollum, ended with 30 points of his own - which included some tough contested shots down the stretch - and six rebounds on a 50% shooting night. CJ is averaging over 24 points per game in the playoffs so far.