Trail Blazers beat Nuggets 119-108, force series to Game 7
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 32 points, including 17 in the third quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers staved off elimination to force a decisive Game 7 in their series with Denver with a 119-108 victory on Thursday night.
The Nuggets head home with a chance to make it to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2009. Denver has been to the conference finals three times in franchise history.
The winner of Sunday’s game will face the winner of the series between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets. The defending NBA champion Warriors have a 3-2 advantage in the series after a 104-99 victory on Wednesday night. Game 6 is set for Friday in Houston.
CJ McCollum added 30 points for the Blazers, who haven’t advanced to the conference finals since the 2000 playoffs. Rodney Hood came off the bench with a career playoff-high 25 points and fans at the Moda Center drowned out his postgame on-court interview by chanting “Rodney! Rodney!”
Game 7 is Sunday night in Toronto. The Milwaukee Bucks await the winner.
Butler hit baskets in bunches and finished with 25 points. Joel Embiid, who had played through a bad left knee and a stomach bug for most of the playoffs, had 17 points and 12 rebounds in 35 minutes, while Ben Simmons added 21 points.