Nikola Jokic powers Nuggets to Game 1 win over Blazers
The Denver Post
Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard came as advertised. He just wasn’t Nikola Jokic.
Not even a flagrant foul to the face could slow Denver’s franchise center, who barged his way to 37 points in the Nuggets’ 121-113 victory against Portland on Monday night at the Pepsi Center in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal series.
Game 2 is Wednesday night, when the Nuggets will try to win their fifth consecutive playoff game at the Pepsi Center.
Jamal Murray hit several clutch shots in the second half, finishing with 23 points, but it was his team-high eight assists that helped grease the offense’s 50 percent shooting from the field. Paul Millsap added 19 points.
“Defense was not a part of the game from either team tonight,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who was most concerned about his team rebounding from his team’s first-round high. “You used the word resiliency, and that’s very appropriate.”
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