Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers

After a marathon victory in Game 3, the Portland Trail Blazers will look to put a 3-1 choke hold on the Denver Nuggets as they will face off again at the Moda Center. This game will air on TNT on Sunday, May 5th at 7pm EST.

How to Watch

Where: Moda Center in Portland, OR, USA

When: Sunday, May 5th at 7pm EST

How (TV): TNT

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

Top Performers (2019 Playoff Stats)

  • C Nikola Jokic - 34.1 MPG | 24.8 PPG | 12.6 RPG | 9.1 APG
  • G Jamal Murray - 35.4 MPG | 20.5 PPG | 4.3 APG | .344 3P%
  • G Gary Harris - 36.5 MPG | 13.9 PPG | .386 3P% | .833 FT%

In just the second four overtime game in NBA playoffs history, the Denver Nuggets fell short against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, losing 140-137. Jamal Murray was the top scorer on the visiting side with 34 points, while Nikola Jokic stuffed the box score with 33 points, 18 rebounds, and 14 assists.

Reserve swingman Will Barton contributed his fair share to the scoring load, with 22 points in just over 38 minutes off the bench.

Although Jokic's triple-double was no doubt impressive, his eight turnovers were a thorn in the side of the Nuggets. Perhaps his biggest shortfall in this game, however, was his missed free throw with five seconds left that could have tied the game in the fourth overtime.

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 - 42.3 MPG | 30.8 PPG | 6.0 APG | 2.1 SPG
  • G CJ McCollum - 32.9 MPG | 24.9 PPG | 5.6 RPG | .413 3P%
  • C Enes Kanter - 33.5 MPG | 15.6 PPG | 10.3 RPG | .880 FT%

The Portland Trail Blazers took the driver's seat in this series by outlasting the Nuggets in a game that went for over three hours. CJ McCollum was the go-to guy on offense for Portland with a game high of 41 points. McCollum's back court partner, Damian Lillard added 28 points while dishing out eight assists.

The Blazers' sixth man provided the late game heroics, as Rodney Hood nailed the go-ahead three pointer in the last minute of the game. Hood finished the game with 19 points on 6 of 8 shooting.

Although they shot under 30% as a team from beyond the arc, the Blazers treasured their possessions by committing just 13 turnovers, an amazing figure considering the game went through four extra frames.

What's At Stake?

The Nuggets are familiar with being in this situation, as they were down 2-1 to the San Antonio Spurs in the previous round before advancing. Their success in this scenario stops there however, as they have never come back after three games to win a series in the second round or later.

The Portland Trail Blazers are up 2-1 in a second round series for the first time since 2000. Since the franchise's inception in 1970, they have never lost a best-of-seven series after leading 2-1, although they did cough up a 2-1 lead before winning in Game 7 of the 1990 West semi-finals against the Spurs.

Gary Harris Has Been Reliable

Although he may not be a ball dominant guard like Russell Westbrook or Kyrie Irving, Gary Harris' play has been a big reason why the Nuggets were one of the top teams in the league in turnovers. The Michigan State product never committed more than three turnovers in a single game during the regular season, and had 19 games where he managed to cough up none.

This trend has continued into the postseason, as he had only two giveaways in seven games against the Spurs. He has committed five already in this series, none of which game in Game 3. Even with Nikola Jokic putting in most of the work as Denver's facilitator, coach Mike Malone has to feel comfortable that he has Harris as a ball handling option when necessary.

The Blazers Have Cooled Off From Deep

After shooting over 40% from behind the arc in round one against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland has predictably regressed to the mean, where they are now shooting at a 37.2% clip for the playoffs. This mark is still above their season average of 35.9% which ranked ninth in the NBA.

On the flip side, the Blazers have shown improvement in their ability to defend the three point shot. During the regular season, Terry Stotts' team ranked 20th in the league in opponent three point percentage, at 35.9%. So far in the playoffs, Portland is tied with Denver for fourth among active playoff teams in that category, limiting opponents to 33.1% success rate.

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: Nikola Jokic (DEN) vs Enes Kanter (POR)

Two big guys will be in the spotlight for Game 4, as Denver's All-Star, Nikola Jokic, will take on fellow international centre Enes Kanter. Neither of these players will be mistaken as athletic specimens, as they instead use rely on their brute strength as well as other unique abilities to contribute on offense.

Nikola Jokic

Center | 7-0, 250lb (213cm, 113kg) | Serbia | Exp. 3 Years

20.1 PPG | 7.3 APG | 10.8 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 3.1 TOV | .511 FG% | .307 3P%

A first time All-Star and NBA postseason participant, Nikola Jokic is sure to draw some MVP votes when all is said and done. The Serbian seven footer has stuffed box scores throughout the playoffs, having already racked up three triple doubles in ten games.

His craftiness and excellent court vision have made up for his inability to serve as a rim protector, a trait that is often expected of players his size. Whether it is a no look pass to a cutting wing player, or a simple outlet to start a fast break, Jokic has found ways to make himself a threat in more ways than one.

Enes Kanter

Center | 6-11, 250lb (211cm, 113kg) | Kentucky | Exp. 7 Years

13.7 PPG | 1.7 APG | 9.8 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 1.8 TOV | .549 FG% | .294 3P%

Like Jokic, Enes Kanter is capable of stepping out behind the arc and keeping defenses honest. His bread and butter, however, has been down low on the block, as he is one of the best low post scorers in the league. His style of play fits perfectly with Portland's offense, as he is replacing another bruiser in the injured Jusuf Nurkic, which allowed him to hit the ground running from the moment he arrived from the New York Knicks.

Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers Predictions and Odds

With just one day of rest after their seemingly endless game on Friday night, it would not be shocking to see one or both of these teams getting off to a sluggish start in Game 4. The Blazers will be focused on taking command in this series, while the Nuggets are likely to play with some urgency to get even and regain home court advantage.

You can bet on the Nuggets vs Blazers if you are in New Jersey, at one of the following sportsbooks:

Sportsbook Denver Nuggets Portland Trail Blazers Link
888Sport NJ +132 -157
BetStars NJ +135 -162

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

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