Thursday’s playoff slate features two higher seeds looking to wrap up first-round series on the road when the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns meet the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively. Damian Lillard will look to stave off elimination after a 55-point performance in a Game 5 loss while LeBron James attempts to add to his stellar record in playoff elimination games.
Nuggets @ Trail Blazers breakdown (DEN leads 3-2, Blazers -5)
Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. have been stars for Denver, but it’s the role players stepping up in key moments that should give Nuggets fans the most optimism. Austin Rivers and Monte Morris are looking like playoff veterans and Aaron Gordon is starting to get in a groove. Lillard will need some help from CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, as well as Portland’s bench.
Anthony Davis’ injury looms over this game, with the big man officially questionable to play in Game 6. James is a monster in playoff elimination games with a 12-4 record since the 2011 NBA Finals defeat to the Dallas Mavericks and 14-10 overall. He will look to avoid being bounced out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time in his career.
For both games, if you don’t have a cable login, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream the games.