The first four games of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trail Blazers provided all kinds of drama. Game 4 was particularly compelling, with Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic leading the Nuggets to a road victory, but the back-and-forth nature of the match up set the stage for a must-see contest for Game 5 on Tuesday evening. Unfortunately for the casual observer, the fifth installment was not as compelling, as the Nuggets trounced the Blazers on the way to a dominant 124-98 victory.
The festivities began with struggles from the Blazers and the Nuggets took advantage right away. Portland missed their first six shots and Denver zoomed to a 9-2 early lead as a result.
The Blazers would warm up, though, using a 10-2 run to tie the game at 18-18 and seemingly settle into a competitive environment.
That uptick proved to be short-lived through the prism of the first half, with the Nuggets responding to the tune of a 10-2 run to retake control. During that spurt, Paul Millsap asserted himself and the veteran forward led the way with 12 points in the first quarter.