With their backs against the wall, thePortland Trail Blazersaren’t going down without a fight in Game 6. Led by their dynamic backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ. McCollum, who combined for 26 points and five assists in the first half, the Blazers took a 58-54 lead into the halftime locker room.Rodney Hoodalso gave the Blazers a big boost as he dropped 14 points off the bench in the first half for Portland.
Nikola Jokic led the way for theNuggetsin the first half with 16 points, six assists and four rebounds, but Denver will need more from the rest of its supporting cast in the second half if it wants to avoid going back home for a Game 7.
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No. 2 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers
How to watch Game 6
- Date: Thursday, May 9
- Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Moda Center — Portland, Oregon
- TV channel: ESPN
- Live stats: GameTracker
- Online streaming: WatchESPN
- Odds:Blazers -3.5 (Over/Under 215.5)
Odds and Analysis
Check Sportsline’s NBA pick sheet for all your daily odds.
Game 6 storylines
Nuggets: Denver absolutely steamrolled the Blazers in Game 5. In what was the first blowout of the series, the Nuggets stifled the backcourt duo ofDamian LillardandCJ McCollumand led by 18 points at the half, and 28 points by the time the fourth quarter rolled around. Can the Nuggets continue to make the Blazers’ sharpshooters struggle from the field while killing Portland on the pick-and-roll withNikola JokicandJamal Murray?
Blazers: Portland had entered Game 5 so evenly matched with Denver. The cumulative scoring was 464-462 and both teams were tied in free throws and 3-pointers after four games. However, Lillard and McCollum were held in check, with both players combining for just 34 points on 4-of-14 shooting from 3-point range (28.5 percent). While the supporting cast led byEnes Kanterwill be pivotal, Portland will only go as far as their star backcourt duo leads them.
Game 6 prediction, pick
Although the Nuggets have bounced back in a major way to win the past two games after a discouraging four-overtime defeat in Game 3, I can’t see the Blazers being eliminated on their home floor after just six games in this series. This playoff matchup between the two divisional rivals is so evenly matched that it’s only natural that it goes seven games.
I’ll go with the Blazers in this one as I expect Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to come out firing after finishing Game 5 just 14-of-37 from the field (37.8 percent). They’ll be extra motivated to push this series to a Game 7 on the Nuggets’ home floor on Sunday.