Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers

After getting blown out on the road in Game 5, the Portland Trail Blazers return home hoping to stay alive in the playoffs against the Denver Nuggets. This game will air on ESPN from the Moda Center on Thursday, May 9th at 10:30 pm EST.

How to Watch

Where: Moda Center in Portland, OR, USA

When: Thursday, May 9th at 10:30 pm EST

How (TV): ESPN

Denver Nuggets (Away)

Head Coach: Mike Malone {All-Time: 212-222 | SAC, DEN}

Season Record: 54-28, 2nd in West

Projected Starting Five: (G) Gary Harris - (G) Jamal Murray - (F) Torrey Craig - (F) Paul Millsap - (C) Nikola Jokic

Top Performers (2019 Playoff Stats)

  • C Nikola Jokic - 39.8 MPG | 24.5 PPG | 13.1 RPG | 9.0 APG
  • G Jamal Murray - 35.4 MPG | 21.4 PPG | 4.7 APG | .889 FT%
  • G Gary Harris - 36.5 MPG | 14.1 PPG | .354 3P% | .875 FT%

The Denver Nuggets are one win away from reaching the Western Conference finals after dominating the Portland Trail Blazers 124-98 on Tuesday night. The Nuggets were led in scoring by All-Star center, Nikola Jokic who put up 25 points while grabbing 19 boards.

Veteran forward Paul Millsap turned back the clock with a solid 24 point, eight rebound performance, while Jamal Murray added 18 points and nine assists.

The Nuggets were dominant on the defensive end, limiting Portland to 36.7% shooting from the field while out-rebounding the Blazers 62-44 to minimize second-chance points.

Portland Trail Blazers (Home)

Head Coach: Terry Stotts {All-Time: 440-417 | ATL, MIL, POR}

Season Record: 53-29, 3rd in West

Projected Starting Five: (G) Damian Lillard - (G) CJ McCollum - (G) Rodney Hood - (F) Al-Farouq Aminu - (C) Enes Kanter

Top Performers (2019 Playoff Stats)

  • G Damian Lillard - 40.6 MPG | 29.6 PPG | 5.9 APG | 2.0 SPG
  • G CJ McCollum - 38.9 MPG | 24.0 PPG | 5.4 RPG | .421 3P%
  • C Enes Kanter - 32.3 MPG | 13.7 PPG | 10.0 RPG | .788 FT%

The Portland Trail Blazers are now facing elimination after their brutal loss in Denver. Damian Lillard was the top scorer for the Blazers with 22 points on a disappointing 2 of 9 showing from beyond the arc.

Lillard's scoring efforts were followed by two reserves in Rodney Hood and Zach Collins who added 14 points each. CJ McCollum struggled mightily in this game, making just 5 of 16 attempts from the field, leading to a measly 12 point scoring total.

The Blazers struggled to score in all ways possible, particularly from the free throw line where they missed 14 of their 30 attempts.

What's At Stake?

The Nuggets will look to avoid playing another Game 7 after already going the distance with the San Antonio Spurs in the previous round. One thing going for the Nuggets is the fact that they have never lost a playoff series after leading 3-2 after five games.

The Trail Blazers are down 3-2 in a playoff series for the first time since 2011 when they were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in six games. That year was the third straight postseason where they were eliminated in six games. The last time Portland managed to come back to win a series in this scenario was in 1990 when they bounced the Spurs in the second round.

Will Enes Kanter Wake Up?

Although he started off the series with a solid 26 point performance, Portland's Enes Kanter has cooled off some, failing to reach double digits in games 4 and 5. Far from an elite shot blocker, the bulk of Kanter's value is on the offensive end where he is able to get buckets. In his lone home meeting with the Nuggets as a Blazer, Kanter struggled with his touch on offense, hitting just 5 of 13 shot attempts for 11 points. With Jokic a great matchup for the Turk in terms of size, Portland will need as much as they can get from him.

The Nuggets Own the Glass

Giving yourself second chances while eliminating them for your opponent can play a key factor in winning. With an elite rebounder in Nikola Jokic, the Denver Nuggets have dominated the rebounding category so far in the postseason. The Nuggets are currently averaging 47.8 rebounds per game, a mark that is tied for third amongst all playoff teams. In addition, Denver ranks first within that same grouping in offensive rebounds at 12.8 per game.

Denver Nuggets Roster Notes

F Michael Porter - 21 Mar 2019 - Out (Back) - Porter Jr. has been participating in light contact 3-on-3 drills in practice, but is still a long shot to return this year according to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic.

Portland Trail Blazers Roster Notes

C Jusuf Nurkic - 25 Mar 2019 - Out For Season (Leg Fracture) - Nurkic will not return in the playoffs and could possibly miss all of next season with a compound fracture in his left leg.

X-Factors: Mason Plumlee (DEN) vs Zach Collins (POR)

The matchup to focus on in this pivotal game will be between reserve big men Mason Plumlee. Neither of these players typically lights up the scoreboard, often making their mark's on defense with their ability to protect the rim.

Mason Plumlee

Center | 6-11, 235lb (211cm, 106kg) | Duke | Exp. 5 Years

7.8 PPG | 3.0 APG | 6.4 RPG | 0.8 SPG | 0.9 BPG | 1.5 TOV | .593 FG% | .200 3P%

The former Trail Blazer would love to eliminate the team that employed his services just under two whole seasons. Nikola Jokic's backup is a perfect compliment for the big Serbian, as the Duke product possesses the length and athleticism to intimidate opponents who are driving to the rim. With the likes of Jamal Murray and Gary Harris drawing a lot of attention from the defense, Plumlee is able to get himself open and rack up easy points.

Zach Collins

Center | 7-0, 235lb (Gonzaga) | School | Exp. 1 Year

6.6 PPG | 0.9 APG | 4.2 RPG | 0.3 SPG | 0.9 BPG | 1.0 TOV | .473 FG% | .331 3P%

Up until Game 5 where he scored 14 points, Portland's Zach Collins has failed to impress against the Nuggets during this season, as that has been his only double-digit scoring performance against Denver. The Gonzaga one-and-done has had some memorable moments on the other end of the floor, however, most notably his block on Golden State's Alfonzo McKinnie as well as a six-block performance against the Lakers on October 18th.

Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers Predictions and Odds

The Blazers will be playing with desperation on their home court, making them a tough out in Game 6. With that said, Denver would like to avoid going to a second straight seven-game series and should be motivated to close the deal and advance to the next round.

If you are in New Jersey you can bet on the Nuggets vs Blazers game on 888Sport or BetStars NJ, here:

Point Spread

Sportsbook DEN Nuggets +4 POR Trail Blazers -4 Link
888Sport NJ -112 -108
BetStars NJ -110 -110

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Total Points

Sportsbook Over 216 Under 216 Link
888Sport NJ -108 -112
BetStars NJ -110 -110

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Money Line

Sportsbook DEN Nuggets POR Trail Blazers Link
888Sport NJ +145 -175
BetStars NJ +150 -182

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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