Serbian Nikola Jokic donned the hero cape on Monday to guide the Denver Nuggets in a comfortable 128-109 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Thus the series of the first round of playoffs in the Western Conference of the NBA was paired, one victory per side.
The Serbian center had a very effective day with 38 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Michael Porters Jr. seconded him with 18 points. The Cordoba Facundo Campazzo He also had an outstanding day for the winners with 12 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and a block.
Portland, finally, could not capitalize on another excellent performance by its star Damian Lillard, who had a high-carat offensive overflow with 42 points and 10 assists, and made Campazzo suffer when he had to mark it, especially in the second quarter when scored 5 triples in a row.
The Cordovan had started the game as a starter and on the right foot, scoring a good layup and a triple from the start, with his team leading by 10 points. He also stood out in the closing, with a theft of his brand that ended in a career and double and the triple that sentenced the game.
The series is now moving to Portland where the third game of this best-of-seven series will take place.
Something strange, obviously linked to the context of the playoffs, the Serbian interior, so phlegmatic in general, harshly criticized an arbitration decision against him, while his team was on the right track. He protested because he had been charged his fourth foul, which was transformed into a fifth by the technician who was applied to him.
The Nuggets, constantly ahead on the scoreboard, in fact they had peaked in twenty units (99-79) just before the end of the third quarter, they also took advantage of the impact of Porter Jr. and a bench in tune, such as Paul Millsap ( 15 pts, 7 rebounds, 3 assists).
“The difference with the first game is that we created wide shots and we defended very well. It was a real collective effort. Saturday was tough for us,” Jokic commented.
This collective demonstration contrasted with the solo performance of Lillard, a 42-point author, who only counted on CJ McCollum to help him offensively (21 points). Lillard also excelled at long distance with 9 3-pointers from 16 attempts (27 points).
Lillard’s eight 3-pointers before intermission tied the record for three-point baskets scored in one half in an NBA playoff game.
With a 20-point lead in the middle of the fourth quarter, the Nuggets they held out for a Portland mini rally before he sealed the score with a triple. Monte Morris was also excellent blocking Lillard.