NBA Playoffs 2019: 3 Talking points from Portland Trail Blazers' win over Denver Nuggets in Game 2
The Blazers made sure they ground out a result, evening the series before heading home for the next couple of games. The support crew for the visitors stepped up big time, helping them secure a 97-90 win at Pepsi Center.
It was not the best Blazers performance we have seen all year but they somehow managed to steal a much-needed win thereby preventing themselves from going 2-0 down.
"It was a weird game," Jokic said after the game. "[The Blazers] didn't even play that well, honestly. They can play better than that, so it was kind of a weird game."
The Joker finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists, but could not do enough to secure the W at home.
Let's take a look at some key talking points from this odd encounter:
#1 Denver succeed in cramping Lillard while Portland role players take over
In a game where the Nuggets held Dame to 5-of-17 shooting from the floor and an uncharacteristic 1-of-7 from beyond the arc, McCollum, Kanter and Hood each contributed at least 15 points to Portland's winning cause.
"Teams can't guard him (Lillard) with one man. They were sending double-teams, triple-teams. That's when I said, `He's making himself better, but at the same time he's making everybody else better around him.' He was passing the ball, really active on defense. He's been unbelievable, man," said Kanter in the post-game press conference.
Coming into this game, Lillard was averaging 34.8 points in the playoffs and to hold him to just 14 points in Game 2 would've needed some serious effort on the defensive end. Also, Maurice Harkless left the game after rolling an ankle and never returned.
Despite all the hurdles, CJ played 41 minutes and ended with a game-high 20 points along with 6 boards and 6 dimes on the night. Rodney Hood and Enes Kanter combined for 30 points while Aminu recorded a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.