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National Basketball Association
Portland 123, Denver 109
When: 10:30 PM ET, Saturday, May 22, 2021
Where: Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado
Officials: #8 Marc Davis, #24 Kevin Scott, #74 Curtis Blair, #49 Tom Washington
Attendance: 7732

Damian Lillard finished with 34 points and 13 assists, CJ McCollum scored 21 points, and the visiting Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets 123-109 in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series on Saturday night.

Jusuf Nurkic had 16 points and 12 rebounds, Carmelo Anthony scored 18 points, Anfernee Simons had 14 and Norman Powell scored 10 for the sixth-seeded Trail Blazers.

Game 2 is Monday night, also in Denver.

Nikola Jokic had 34 points and 16 rebounds, Michael Porter Jr. finished with 25 points and nine rebounds, Aaron Gordon tallied 16 points and eight boards, and Monte Morris finished added 10 points off the bench for third-seeded Denver.

The Nuggets led by three at intermission and increased it to nine with 8:34 left in the third quarter, but Portland dominated the rest of the period.

An 11-2 run tied the game at 73, and a three-point play by Powell gave the Trail Blazers a 76-75 lead. They went up 81-78 on McCollum's 3-pointer.

Jokic got Denver back within one with a layup, but Lillard scored eight of his 15 third-quarter points in the final 1:26 to give Portland a 96-86 lead heading into the fourth.

The Trail Blazers hit two 3-pointers early in the fourth to go ahead 102-90, prompting the Nuggets to call a timeout. They tightened up after that and scored eight straight to get within four points with 8:14 remaining.

Simons and Markus Howard traded 3-pointers, and Jokic hit a turnaround jumper to make it 107-103, but Portland responded again. Anthony converted a three-point play, Lillard hit another from behind the arc and Nurkic's three-point play made it 116-103.

Jokic missed on the other end and Nurkic scored off of an offensive rebound to make it 118-103, and the Trail Blazers closed it out.

Anthony heated up in the first quarter, scoring 12 points in five minutes to give Portland a five-point lead. Denver rallied late in the second quarter with a 15-4 run to go ahead 57-51 and led 61-58 at halftime.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Portland   Denver
Damian Lillard 34 Scoring Nikola Jokic 34
Damian Lillard 13 Assists Facundo Campazzo 5
Jusuf Nurkic 12 Rebounds Nikola Jokic 16
Damian Lillard 9 Free Throws Made Nikola Jokic 3
Carmelo Anthony 1 Steals Facundo Campazzo 2
Robert Covington 1 Blocks Michael Porter Jr. 2
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Portland 123 47.3 19-40 18-19 29 39 2 3 6
Denver 109 50.5 11-36 4-8 22 48 7 3 8
Upcoming Games
  • Denver will play their next game at home against Portland. The Nuggets have a W/L % of .625 after a win and .708 after a loss.
  • Portland will play their next game on the road against Denver. The Trail Blazers have a W/L % of .585 after a win and .581 after a loss.