Denver overcame 39 points from Damian Lillard to earn a 121-113 win Monday night in Game 1 of the Blazers-Nuggers second round series.
Lillard went just 4-of-12 from behind the arc, and the Nuggets “made him uncomfortable” according to Jamal Murray.
Nikola Jokic led the way for Denver with 37 points and nine rebounds.
Per The AP:
Lillard, who struck for 50 points, including a 37-footer at the buzzer to oust Oklahoma City in five games, scored two more points than Jokic. But he had a-half dozen turnovers, missed 8 of 12 3-point attempts and Gary Harris blocked his 3 from behind in the closing minute to keep the Trail Blazers from closing in.
“We just made him uncomfortable,” said Jamal Murray, who added 23 points and eight assists for Denver to go with just one turnover.
Despite logging 41½ minutes after playing 43½ two nights earlier, Jokic continued his playoff coming-out party by dominating once more. He made 11 of 18 shots and all 12 of his free throws to go with nine boards and a half dozen assists.
“He’s a sponge,” Paul Millsap said. “He picks it up. He sees how people are playing him and guarding him and he makes the right play every time. That’s what’s great about him — he doesn’t force anything. Everything is going to be the right play. He’s going to make the right reads. He’s like a quarterback out there.
“I consider him like a Tom Brady — he’s always going to pick you apart and make the right reads. Commend him for doing that at this stage in his career. It’s unbelievable.”