Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers
Date and Time: Sunday, May 30,2021 1:30 AM IST
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers
After splitting the first two games, the Denver Nuggets were able to re-gain their home-court advantage over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night. In another enthralling matchup between two prolific offenses, the Nuggets came away with a 120-115 win in Game 3 and will be looking to take a 3-1 lead back to Denver on Saturday.
Standing in their way is Portland Trail Blazers leader Damian Lillard, who has been stunning on offense so far. He leads all scorers in the NBA Playoffs, though the Denver Nuggets’ own star, Nikola Jokic, has been toe-to-toe with him throughout.
Thursday night’s game was a brilliant showcase of NBA Playoff basketball and the Denver Nuggets continued to prove they can compete for a championship without star guard Jamal Murray. Their offense was electric, and they broke their season record of 19 made threes in a game with 20 on the night.
After two games where both sides were easily beaten, this was more of a gritty win from the Denver Nuggets. Their guards stepped up in a big way, with Austin Rivers scoring his second-highest tally for the franchise of 21 points as he stole the show in the 4th quarter. They will need a similar all-round performance from their team if they are to return home with a comfortable 3-1 series lead.
The Portland Trail Blazers will feel like they did enough to win on Thursday night but lost the battle through shooting accuracy. They scored three fewer wide-open threes (defender more than 6ft away) and four fewer open threes (defender 4-6ft away) in the game, which was a contributor to the tie’s outcome.
This series has already proven that it is extremely difficult to call which team will win each night. However, Saturday afternoon’s fixture is a must-win for the Portland Trail Blazers and they have to come out locked-in and hope the Denver Nuggets’ efficient scoring doesn’t continue.
Jusuf Nurkic will also need to avoid foul trouble. Although he is not the most effective defender the Portland Trail Blazers have, he is an effective matchup for Nikola Jokic who they must keep quiet.
We’re backing the Portland Trail Blazers to get the job done on home court and even up the series again before heading back to Denver.