Blazers hold off Nuggets in Game 2 to even series | News Coverage from USA

Blazers hold off Nuggets in Game 2 to even series

C.J. McCollum provided the steadiest hand in Game 2 as the Portland Trail Blazers fought their way back into contention, leveling their Western Conference semifinal series with a 97-90 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.

McCollum scored 20 in a tense affair that saw the Blazers surge into a commanding lead before withstanding a late comeback from the hosts, leaving the matchup at 1-1. McCollum’s 3-pointer with just under four minutes left, and Denver smelling blood, pushed the lead back to 10 and effectively clinched the contest.

Defeat would have left Portland in serious trouble, but as things stand they have now snatched home-court advantage heading back to the Pacific Northwest on Friday.

Enes Kanter was a surprising hero for Terry Stotts’ men on what was a quiet night for Damian Lillard, who managed just 14 points. Kanter, released by the New York Knicks earlier in the season and acquired after Jusuf Nurkic’s horrific leg injury, scored 15 points to go with nine rebounds.

For Denver, Nikola Jokic had 16 points and 14 rebounds, but even more impressive was the resiliency of Torrey Craig, who sustained a broken nose in a first half collision but later returned to play meaningful minutes while wearing a plastic face mask.

However, the Blazers may now feel they have snatched back momentum and will like their chances of pushing for a place in the Western Conference finals.

Follow Martin Rogers on Twitter @RogersJourno.

 

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