Nuggets eliminate Trail Blazers in NBA playoffs | Inquirer Sports

Nuggets eliminate Trail Blazers in NBA playoffs

/ 11:08 AM June 04, 2021

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets and Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers shake hands after the Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 126-115 Round 1, Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center on June 03, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Steph Chambers/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Steph Chambers / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers shake hands after the Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 126-115 Round 1, Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center on June 03, 2021 in Portland, Oregon.  (Getty Images via AFP)

LOS ANGELES – Serbian center Nikola Jokic scored 36 points and the Denver Nuggets advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs Thursday by defeating the Portland Trail Blazers 126-115.

The 7-footer went 13-of-22 from the field and added eight rebounds and six assists for the visiting Nuggets, who won the best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series four games to two.

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Denver will face the Phoenix Suns, who eliminated the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers later on Thursday.

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Denver’s Michael Porter Jr. scored 22 of his 26 points in the first quarter while Monte Morris added 22 off the bench for the Nuggets and Jokic had 20 points in the third quarter to spark a rally for the victory.

We made some big stops and scored some clutch baskets at big times,” Jokic said. “It was a team effort.”

The Trail Blazers seized a 14-point lead early in the third quarter but the Nuggets closed the period on a 14-4 run, then started the fourth on an 8-2 spurt to grab the lead and broke open the game in the final minutes.

“Nobody can take the fight out of us,” Jokic said. “We go out there and fight. Thats what we’re doing. We’re never going to quit.

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“Quit is not in our vocabulary. We’re going to go out there and fight.”

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With the game deadlocked at 108-108, the Nuggets went on an 11-0 run, featuring a 3-pointer and layup by Austin Rivers and a Jokic hook shot.

Portland trimmed the lead to 119-113 but Jokic made a layup and Aaron Gordon added a late 3-pointer to seal the Blazers’ fate.

Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots against Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets in the second quarter during Round 1, Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center on June 03, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Steph Chambers/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Steph Chambers / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via A

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots against Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets in the second quarter during Round 1, Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center on June 03, 2021 in Portland, Oregon.  (Getty Images via AFP)

Damian Lillard led Portland with 28 points and passed off 13 assists while C.J. McCollum added 21 points, Norman Powell had 17 and Carmelo Anthony scored 14 off the bench.

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TAGS: Denver Nuggets, NBA, Portland, Trail Blazers

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