NBA Play-Offs 2021: Denver eliminate Portland, set to face Phoenix next

Denver Nuggets advanced to the second round of the NBA 2021 playoffs for the third straight year despite the absence of Jamal Murray and other key players.

The Denver Nuggets will be looking to make a deep playoff run during the 2022-23 NBA season [Image Credits: Twitter]
By Amruth Kalidas | Jun 5, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Denver Nuggets’ 126-115 Game 6 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday sent them to the second round for the third consecutive year. They won the series without Jamal Murray – who averaged 26.5 points, including two 50-point games. Murray had a 45 percent three-point shooting last postseason in the bubble. But, Nuggets achieved it also without Will Barton and PJ Dozier.


Defying the odds is nothing new for Malone, Jokic and the Nuggets. Last year in the bubble, they famously became the first team in NBA history to come back from two 3-1 deficits in the same postseason. They did it in consecutive rounds. Following Murray’s season-ending injury on April 12, the very moment almost eliminated them from the championship talk. In their first-round win over the Blazers, the Nuggets had a plus-40 net rating in 15 clutch minutes, including an 18-7 run to close out the deciding Game 6.

Nikola Jokic said that the Nuggets have been playing “team basketball”. Michael Porter Jr. had the best quarter of his NBA career with 22 points on 6 for 7 three-point shooting to open Game 6. He gradually cooled down as the game progressed. Malone left Porter on the bench for the final six minutes of the game in favour of veteran reserve JaMychal Green, who grabbed two huge offensive rebounds with a minute remaining to help seal the game for Denver.


Denver Nuggets will move on to face the Phoenix Suns, who just pulled off an underdog performance of their own by sending home the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. Even with Chris Paul at less than 100 percent, the Suns will likely be the favourite in the series. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last two years, it’s to never count out the Nuggets.

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