Tue, Jun 1, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The NBA is home to another pivotal game five contest on Tuesday, June 1, when the Denver Nuggets play host to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado at 9 PM ET.
These teams were separated by just five games in the standings at the end of the regular season. Coming into tonight, they are deadlocked in a 2-2 series.
Portland evened the series with a 115-95 win in game four. Norman Powell dropped 29 points in the winning effort for the Trail Blazers, while Nikola Jokic scored 16 for the Nuggets in the loss. CJ McCollum added 21 points for Portland.
"I love these types of games, these kinds of moments. It's the moment where nothing else matters," Powell said. "You get caught up in the course of the season with stats sometimes, this-that-and-the-other, road trips, but when you get into the playoffs, the only thing that matters is winning."
Powell connected on four shots from beyond the arc and was 11-for-15 overall from the floor. The home crowd was behind Powell as he left the floor for the final time before the end of game four, chanting his name incessantly.
"I thought it was really dope," he said. "At first I didn't know what they were saying when I was sitting there, and then the guys on the bench were chanting as well so that got a little smile out of me."
Damian Lillard had just 10 points on 1-for-10 shooting from the floor. He also had 10 assists for Portland. Lillard did not play in the fourth quarter since the Trail Blazers led by as many as 33 points in quarter number three.
"If you would have told me going in that game that Lillard's going to be 1 for 10 from the field and we're going to get blown out, I would've probably had a hard time believing that," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "So, I have to be a lot better and the urgency has to be there. Maybe this could be a wake up call for our starting group, just to play harder. Good things happen when you play hard, and we didn't play anywhere close to hard enough tonight."
The loss for the Nuggets came after a 120-115 win in game three in which Denver connected on 20 shots from beyond the arc. In that game, Austin Rivers hit three consecutive three-point field goals in the fourth quarter. In game four, Rivers was held to just eight points.
"We got our butts whooped tonight so that should be all the motivation we need," Denver's JaMychal Green said. "I mean it was embarrassing. So when we go home we gotta be the aggressors."
Of the three games on the NBA playoff schedule tonight, this one is the most difficult to pick for betting purposes. The Nuggets are -2 point favorites in front of their home crowd, but Portland looked dominant in game four. Put your bet on the visiting Trail Blazers and the -135 money line.