Published: Mon, May 06, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Jaynes: Blazers win "Instant Classic" but there was nothing instant about it

Jaynes: Blazers win

CJ McCollum scored 20 points as the Portland Trail Blazers held off a late rally from the Denver Nuggets to score a series-levelling victory in their NBA Western Conference playoff duel on Wednesday.

After a thrilling game 3 in which the hosts managed to take the win and the 2-1 lead in the series after 4 overtimes, the third-seeded Blazers (53-29), are hosting once again the second-seeded Nuggets (54-28), who want to bounce back and avoid a potentially disastrous third defeat in this series.

Portland's Seth Curry then nailed a pair of clutch free throws for a 140-137 lead with 2.8 seconds left.

On Friday night, the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets suffered through four overtime periods before a verdict was reached.

"Everybody's exhausted", said Portland guard Damian Lillard, who scored 28 points in Game 3.

But just because Portland has won the last two games does not guarantee it will cover the Nuggets vs. Blazers spread on Sunday.

"First overtime, I think I separated my shoulder more". We could give you a collection of facts, how C.J. McCollum, for instance, had the game of his life (Hi Jennifer!), how it was the longest playoff game in almost 70 years, how the star players on both sides logged a mind-boggling number of minutes as they combined to play a full game-and-a-half of basketball.

Damian Lillard's 39 points weren't enough to give the visiting Blazers a win in the series opener.

"It's very important", said Enes Kanter, who chipped in 15 points for Portland. "Shooters shoot, but at the same time we're still shooting and they're not going down", he said.

Hood used his size to bury two pull up jumpers over the smaller Jamal Murray, before draining the go-ahead three-pointer with 17.8 seconds remaining. Check out this end-of-game action in this Fantastic Finish. We are still in a good position. Kanter is obviously displeased with the incident though, and took time to Tweet at National Basketball Association refs before going to bed, demanding justice.

Jokic had just six points at the half, when the Nuggets were booed off the court after missing their final eight shots. If Denver's bench unit can have success early in Game 4, it will go a long way in creating additional rest opportunities for Malone's starters. Not to mention Harkless was initially listed as questionable with a right ankle sprain for Game 3. We just have to keep shooting them, and those are going to fall next game.

Nuggets Injuries: Torrey Craig: day to day (nose), Michael Porter Jr.: out (back).

"I do love the fact that our guys competed at such a high level", Malone said.

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