The Portland Trail Blazers bounced back from a Game 1 loss to defeat the Denver Nuggets and even their second-round series in Game 2. Portland pulled off the win despite a rare off night from All-Star Damian Lillard, which has to bolster the team’s confidence moving forward in the series.
The Nuggets will look for revenge in Game 3, as the series shifts to Portland. Nikola Jokic has been tremendous throughout the playoffs, but the Blazers made a concerted effort to try to limit him in Game 2, and were somewhat successful. It will be interesting to see how they play the big man on Friday.
Here’s everything you need to know about Game 3 between the Trail Blazers and Nuggets.
No. 2 Denver Nuggets at No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers
How to watch Game 3
- Date: Friday, May 3
- Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Moda Center — Portland, Oregon
- TV channel: ESPN
- Live stats: GameTracker
- Online streaming: WatchESPN
- Odds: Trail Blazers -4 (Over/Under 215.5)
Odds and Analysis
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Game 3 storylines
Nuggets: The Nuggets can only go as far as Jokic can take them. It took an MVP-level performance from him in the first round for Denver to skate by the San Antonio Spurs in seven games, and he was absolutely brilliant in a Game 1 win over the Blazers. Jokic still nearly had a triple-double in Game 2, but Portland limited him to 16 points, after the big man put up 37 in Game 1. Denver coach Mike Malone will certainly make adjustments, so it will be interesting to see how Jokic counters the Blazers defense, and whether any other Nuggets — like Jamal Murray — can step up and give the Joker some help.
Trail Blazers: Playing the percentages, chances are that Lillard is going to come out hot after a substandard Game 2 performance. However, in a way, his off night in Game 2 was a good thing for the Blazers. It forced role players to step up, which they did in a big way. If Lillard bounces back with a strong Game 3, he’ll have to look to keep his teammates engaged offensively, as they attempt to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Game 3 prediction, pick
The Blazers controlled Game 2 in impressive fashion with Lillard having one of his worst game of the season. With the home crowd and the killer instinct to take control of the series, you can expect the Blazers to come out firing. When Lillard and CJ McCollum get hot, it’s hard for Denver to match the offensive firepower, so the Blazers will pull away and cover the spread in Game 3.