Blazers and Nuggets Deliver Exciting Playoff Game

Conor Harrison, Staff Writer

This weekend brought the game that many NBA fans have been waiting for all year. It was the day of two game sevens deciding who gets to play for a finals appearance this year. The first of the two games was the Portland Trail Blazers vs the Denver Nuggets. Both teams have had success in the playoffs in years past. The Trail Blazers have always made the playoffs, but they have struggled to capitalize against the lesser teams in the past years, losing in the first round the past two years. This year has been a different story. Both of their stars have been strong all year and strong in the playoffs. Damian Lillard has been playing like the best point guard in the league, and CJ McCollum has been playing like a top 3 shooting guard in these playoffs. The Nuggets have really broke out this year behind the stellar play of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Jamal Murray has been playing great in these playoffs and has been a key piece for the Nuggets all year. Jokic is an MVP candidate and he has been really showing why in the playoffs this year. Both teams have made a strong case for being a top two team in the west, and tonight was the night that decided it. The game started with the Nuggets coming on strong to build an early lead. They were up by as much as 16 in the first half, but that lead started to dwindle at the end of the half. The Blazers finally took the lead around the end of the third quarter. It was a close game all of the fourth quarter. It was 96-95 with about 40 seconds left, and then CJ McCollum hit a two point jumper to give them a three point lead with about 20 seconds left. It came down to free throws and CJ McCollum sealed the deal at the line, giving the Blazers the win 100-96. CJ McCollum had 39 points, and Damian Lillard had an off night with only 13, but he added ten rebounds and eight assists to his otherwise mediocre statline. Senior Matthew Johnson had this to say about the game, “The Nuggets were probably the better team, but CJ McCollum just would not be denied tonight.” Senior at LCA Jackson Lalonde said this about CJ McCollum, “He’s a stone-cold killer and he showed it tonight.” LCA senior and Heat fan JT Sparks had a comment on how Damian Lillard played, “Lillard struggled tonight, but it shows how good the Blazers are because they still won the game.” The Blazers finally broke through this year, and they are rewarded with a conference finals appearance against the stacked Golden State Warriors.