Denver (USA), May 1 (EFE) .- The guard CJ McCollum contributed 20 points, six rebounds and six and led the attack of the Denver Nuggets that won at home by 90-97 to the Denver Nuggets, in the second match of the elimination of the semifinals of the Western Conference that tie to 1-1 the series and remain with the field advantage.
The third game of the best-of-seven series will be played next Friday at the Portland Fashion Center.
Along with McCollum, who scored three 3-pointers and always the decisive baskets, the Swiss turf center Enes Kanter and reserve guard Rodney Hood scored 15 points apiece.
While base Damian Lillard, the leader of the Trail Blazers’ attack, did not have his best scoring inspiration and finished with just 14 points after failing 12 of 17 field goals, including six of seven from outside the perimeter.
The power forward Al-Farouq Aminu became the best of the Trail Blazers in the indoor game to get a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, which helped his team to conclude the game with 42 percent success in field goals, compared to 35 of the Nuggets, who missed 23 of 29 3-pointers.
But if the Trail Blazers did not have their best inspiration encestadora, worse was the one that showed the Nuggets, who gave a whole exhibition of failures, without they had a single player who was saved from the offensive mediocrity.
That allowed the Trail Blazers, without Lillard, or anything special to offer in the field came to rest with advantage of 15 points (35-50), in the third period the increase to 17 and came to the fourth with 14.
Then came the reaction of the Nuggets, but too late and inconsistent for a partial 90-95 that did not change the history of the game and the dominance of the Trail Blazers that ended the period with a streak of 19-9 and 14 defensive rebounds.
Hood in the absence of 17 seconds sentenced the victory of the Trail Blazers to score two shots of staff that left and no reaction to the Nuggets.
The Serbian center Nikola Jokic contributed a double-double of 16 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and a recovery of the ball, but like the rest of the players of the Nuggets did not have consistency in the attack when he failed 10 of 17 shots from field.
Jokic was very far from the 37 points he scored in the first game of the tie that the Nuggets won by 121-113.
“We played a bad game, we were not focused, we did not move the ball well, we made bad decisions on the shots at the basket and in the end we facilitated his victory,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone. “At this stage of the competition you can not miss baskets as easy as the ones we had tonight”.
The Nuggets set the worst record in their history in a quarter of a playoff game, with 12 points, after failing 18 of 23 field goals, including 10 triple attempts.
The unfortunate sporting spectacle that the Nuggets gave in the first part was reflected in the boos they received from their own fans when they saw how the last eight shots that they made to baskets before going to the break failed.
“He does not have any explanation for what happened on the field and I understand the fans,” said Malone. “Now we must turn the page and think about the third game with the mentality of learning from mistakes.”
But, for now, the Nuggets again lose the field advantage as they did in the first round tie against the San Antonio Spurs, which they then won in the decisive seventh game.
Canadian base Jamal Murray, who is not yet recovered from his muscular ailment suffered during the series against the Spurs, contributed 15 points and seven assists that also did not prevent the defeat of the Denver team.
The power forward Paul Millsap fulfilled in the inside game to get a double-double of 14 points, 11 rebounds, two recoveries of the ball, two losses, and put two plugs.
While the Spanish power forward Juancho Hernangómez continued without seeing action so far in the semifinals by coach Malone. (EFE)