Nuggets get blown out 115-95 in game 4 as starters were a no show

nuggets blazers game 4 odds picks prediction
May 27, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) shoots the ball against Portland Trail Blazers power forward Robert Covington (23) during the first half of game three in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

After a dominating game 3 performance on the road, the Nuggets looked to go up 3-1 on the series before heading back to Denver. The Blazers had other plans and came out with a sense of urgency they needed to blow Denver out 115-95. Michael Malone had no answers for his team. 

“I thought we had some guys that were tentative, that looked a little scared, that played soft, and we have to be a lot better going home,” Malone said. “I’m definitely disappointed.” 

As a team the Nuggets shot 32 of 94 from the field and 13 of 44 from the three-point line. Nikola Jokić was the teams’ leading scorer with just 16 points. He struggled with his shot going 7 of 18 from the field and 1 of 4 from three. Michael Porter Jr. had only 3 points the whole game. Aaron Gordon had 6 and Austin Rivers scored 8. 

“We got our ass whooped tonight so that should be all the motivation we need,” JaMychal Green said. “That was embarrassing so going home we got to be the aggressors.” 

The leading MVP candidate was asked if he was tired during Saturday’s game but he made no excuses for his performance and gave credit where credit was due. 

 “No [I wasn’t tired], give Nurk the credit,” Jokic said. “He was playing really good defense.” 

In games 2 and 3, Jokić did a good job drawing fouls on Jusuf Nurkic who fouled out in both games. Nurkic responded well in game 4 by holding Jokić to 39 percent shooting from the field.

Portland opened the game up on a 6-0 run led by Norman Powell and Nurkic who both scored 13 points in the first half. The Nuggets did keep things close through the first two quarters. Jokić had 11 points and Denver’s bench brought the energy they needed with JaMychal Green scoring 11 points and Monte Morris with 5 in the first half. But Portland closed the second quarter on a 15-7 run to go up by 10 at the half. 

The Blazers opened the third quarter with even more urgency and went on a 12-0 run to go up 64-47. The rest is history. Norman Powell led the Blazers with a game high 29 points on 11 of 15 shooting. CJ McCollum went 9 of 19 for 21 points and Nurkic had 17 points. Damian Lillard had an off night going 1 of 10 from the field for 10 points but it didn’t matter. Everyone else stepped up including Carmelo Anthony off the bench who had 12 points. 

The series is tied 2-2 but Malone isn’t too worried about his team bouncing back since they’ve been underdogs plenty of times before.

“Since I’ve been here we’ve never been up 2-1 in a series,” Malone said. “We’ve always been playing from behind and I think it’s evident by our performance tonight, we’re much more comfortable playing from behind than we are being up 2-1.”

Jokić thinks his team needs to come out with a sense of urgency no matter where the series is at. It shouldn’t matter if they’re up 2 games to 1. The intensity should be the same. 

“We can’t be (satisfied) because they’re a very dangerous team,” Jokic said. “We cannot be satisfied. We cannot be easy. We cannot have a relaxed mentality. It was a bad game.”

Malone said they’re going to spend the next few days reviewing the game film and figuring out what they can correct for game 5 in Denver on Tuesday night.

“It’s something we need to see ourselves so we won’t be in denial the next game,” Green said. “We won’t let it happen again. We just have to chalk this one up and go home and we got to fight. The next two three games are going to be hell. They’re going to come out strong. It’s going to be a dog fight. So we just got to make sure we come out on the other end of it.”

SHARE