Evan Turner, who scored simply four factors in the primary six video games of the sequence, added 14, together with 10 in the fourth quarter. The Trail Blazers will once more be on the street, dealing with the two-time-defending N.B.A. champion Golden State Warriors starting Tuesday evening.
McCollum’s huge sport helped make up for a lackluster one by Damian Lillard, who made simply Three of 17 photographs and scored 13 factors. He did make two essential Three-pointers in the fourth quarter. The first one gave Portland an 81-76 lead. The second, off Lillard’s steal of Jokic’s outlet move, made it 92-85.
Nikola Jokic’s desperation Three-point try hit the rim, and Turner corralled the rebound and dribbled out the clock, sending the shocked crowd streaming to the exits at Pepsi Center, the place the Nuggets had the most effective report in the league throughout the common season however the place they misplaced twice to Portland in the sequence.
The Nuggets raced to a 39-22 lead, and Game 7 was starting to look lots like Game 5, when Denver blew out Portland by 26 factors in Denver. But Trail Blazers Coach Terry Stotts referred to as a timeout with 7 minutes 26 seconds left in the second quarter, and his workforce started chipping away.
“There wasn’t going to be any quit,” Stotts mentioned, including, “It was just about regrouping.”
The Blazers have been behind, 48-39, at halftime and trailed by only a level head into the fourth quarter.
That is when the Nuggets’ hopes of reaching their first Western Conference finals in a decade died with a 7-of-24 capturing efficiency, together with Three of 10 from Jokic, who tearfully blamed himself in the locker room for the loss regardless of main Denver with 29 factors and 13 rebounds.
Nonsense, mentioned Nuggets Coach Michael Malone, who urged Jokic established himself throughout these playoffs as the most effective huge man in basketball and he petered out on the finish solely as a result of the Nuggets needed to rely so closely on the 7-foot All-Star.
“I hope after 14 playoff games, America, everyone around the world, came to appreciate his game,” Malone mentioned. “For him to be as emotional and upset as he was speaks to his caring.”(AP)