Portland Trail Blazers: 3 Takeaways from Game 2 flop vs Denver Nuggets

Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers Denver Nuggets (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers Denver Nuggets (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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The Denver Nuggets took a punch in the mouth from the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1, but countered right back in Game 2. Denver mounted an early run and never looked back. The Blazers, and Damian Lillard specifically, made several valiant attempts to retake momentum, but the Nuggets intensity with their backs against the wall proved too much.

Despite a monster performance from Dame, who finished with 42 points, 32 of which came in the first half, the Nuggets cooked the Blazers, 128-109, to even the series.

A lot of things went right for Denver and wrong for Portland, but it all started with how the teams came out the gate. The 27-14 run that the Nuggets started off with, proved insurmountable for the Blazers.

The Trail Blazers probably won’t get blown out like this again

Even with Denver starting that hot and Portland that cold, the Blazers were able to keep the game at arms’ length for most of the night. That’s with a first half that saw the Nuggets hit 47 percent of their deep-balls, 68 percent of their shots overall, and finish with 30 trips to the free throw line.

For comparison, their season averages in those respective categories are 38 percent from distance, 49 percent from the floor, and 19.5 freebies per contest. Even though the Blazers certainly aren’t the best defensive team in the playoffs, it’ll be a shocker to see the floodgates open like that again.

Nikola Jokic had another MVP-level performance, putting up 38 points, on a Shaquille O’Neal-esque 75 percent shooting, to go along with 8 boards and 4 dimes. He had a lot more help from his teammates this go-around as five other Nuggets finished with double-digit points.

The Nuggets showed their resiliency and bounced back from Game 1; what can the Blazers do to ensure they do the same in Game 3?