By Matthew Zimmer
The first half of Game 2 made Monday night’s game look like it was going to be an all-timer. The third quarter turned the game into a bad joke where Denver got the last laugh to even the series 1-1.
Damian Lillard scored 32 points while Nikola Jokić put up 25 in the opening half. Lillard was 9-of-15 (8-of-11 from deep), while Jokic shot 10-for-12, (1-for-2 from three).
At the end, Lillard had 42 points (11-of-24, 9-of-16 from deep) and 10 assists. Jokic finished with 38 points (15-for-20, 2-for-4 from three), eight rebounds and five assists.
Officiating usually gets a lot of undeserved flack, but the officials deserved all of it during Game 2. After a combined 24 fouls in the first 24 minutes of play, the officials called 18 in the third quarter alone.
In the end, there were 52 fouls called along with four flagrant fouls and four technicals.
Both teams had a legitimate beef with the NBA crew including Jusuf Nurkić, who fouled out contributing just seven points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes.
CJ McCollum (21 points), Norman Powell (15) and Lillard combined for 78 points. The rest of the Blazers combined for just 31 points.
Denver outscored Portland in all four quarters, and they never trailed after taking a 6-5 lead with 10:11 to go in the first quarter. The closest the Trail Blazers got in the second half was nine (73-64) early in the third.
Like Portland did in Game 1, six Nuggets scored 10+ in Game 2. After Jokić’s 38 points, Michael Porter Jr. had 18 for Denver.
The series now heads to the Rose City. Game 3 is Thursday inside the Moda Center (with more fans) at 7:30 p.m. PT on NBA-TV and NBCSN.
Follow 750 The Game on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.