Series Update – CJ McCollum leads Portland Trail Blazers to Western Conference showdown with Golden State Warriors
The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets 100-96 in Game 7 on Sunday to advance to their first Western Conference Championship Finals since 2000.
The Nuggets had led 39-22 at one point in the second quarter, but the Blazers slowly chipped away at their advantage.
CJ McCollum scored 37 points for the Blazers, which was just as well as Damian Lillard scored 13 points and made just 3 of 17 shots from the field. Rodney Hood scored 14 points, but hyperextended his left knee in the third quarter.
Nikola Jokic scored 29 points for the Nuggets, with Jamal Murray adding 17 (but missing 14 of 18 shots).
The reward for the Trail Blazers is the Western Conference Finals against the two-time defending NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors. The opening game of the series takes place on Tuesday night at Golden State.
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Game 7 Update – The Portland Trail Blazers forced a decisive Game 7 in their Western Conference semifinal series with the Denver Nuggets with a 119-108 victory on Thursday night.
Portland looked as though they could be on the verge of elimination as Denver led by as many as 10 points in the opening quarter, but the Blazers led 58-54 at halftime after outscoring the Nuggets 32-20 in the second quarter.
Damian Lillard had 32 points for the Blazers, with CJ McCollum adding 30 points and Rodney Hood came off the bench with a career playoff-high 25 points.
Nikola Jokic once again led the Denver Nuggets with 29 points and 12 rebounds, while Jamal Murray added 24 points and 10 rebounds.
The series now shifts to Denver for the crucial Game 7, with the winner of Sunday’s game facing the winner of the series between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals.