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Portland Trail Blazers: 3 takeaways from discouraging Game 5 loss vs. Nuggets

(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Portland Trail Blazers suffered a blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 on Tuesday night. Here are a few takeaways from their brutal defeat.

After failing to secure the 3-1 series leads at home, the Portland Trail Blazers came up empty again Tuesday night. They fell flat against the Denver Nuggets, 124-98, in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinals series. Denver now holds a 3-2 lead, with a chance to clinch on Thursday at the Moda Center.

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Things instantly got off to a rocky start, with the Nuggets jumping out to a 7-0 lead. The Blazers managed to right the ship, closing the quarter only down 31-25. Denver kicked off the second quarter with another 8-0 run, but Portland responded with a 11-4 surge, capped by a Damian Lillard and-1 corner 3-pointer.

Lillard missed the free throw, and the wheels fell off from there. The Nuggets closed out the quarter by outscoring Portland 22-11, giving them the 65-47 lead at halftime. They managed to inflate their advantage to as large as 31 points late in the third quarter. The Blazers’ bench attempted to close the gap in the fourth, but Denver had enough firepower to coast to victory.

Lillard paced Portland with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists. Zach Collins and Rodney Hood both chipped in 14 points from off the bench. CJ McCollum was the only other starter to finish in double-figures, scoring 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting.

Things evidently went much better for Denver. Nikola Jokic led the way with 25 points, 19 rebounds and six assists before fouling out. Paul Millsap put up 24 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Jamal Murray added 18 points and nine assists, while Gary Harris pitched in 16 points and six rebounds.

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The Portland Trail Blazers took a rough loss on the chin in a pivotal playoff game. Here are a few things to takeaway from a game Blazers fans would otherwise prefer to forget.

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