Portland Trail Blazers Close Out Series Against Denver Nuggets


Jayden Reyes

The third seed Portland Trail Blazers defeated the second seed Denver Nuggets on May 12th to close out the Western Conference Semi-Finals. The final score was 100-96.

The win sends Portland to their first Western Conference Finals since 2000. They will face the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors.

Early in the game, it appeared as if the Nuggets would capitalize on their home-court advantage and bounce the Blazers out of the playoffs. They were up by 12 at the end of the first quarter and extended that lead to as many as 17 points.

However, by the end of the second, the lead was only a 9 point one. Led by C.J. McCollum, the Blazers came back and eventually took their first lead of the game during the third quarter.

After this, the fourth quarter remained competitive, but the Blazers were able to pull away behind McCollum’s 37 points and 9 rebounds.

This win shows that even when their best player, Damian Lillard, doesn’t play very well (3 for 17 from the field), other role players can step up.

The Blazers were considered a bit of an underdog team coming into the playoffs, as they lost their third best player and starting center Jusuf Nurkic right before the playoffs. Many predicted a first-round exit for the Blazers, but strong performances from the whole team propelled them all the way to this point.

When asking local Lakewood residents, Lakewood Times opinion piece writer Christopher Jacob Thelen stated, “I think it was absolutely crazy they were able to come back from a 17 point deficit without their star point guard doing well. Luckily C.J. McCollum was able to put the team on his back.”

The first game of the Western Conference Finals is on May 14th, where the Blazers hope to upset the Warriors dynasty.