The Portland Trail Blazers had the comeback of the early season on Saturday night when they knocked off the Denver Nuggets, 115-113 in overtime. Trailing by nine points with under two minutes remaining, they’d go on a 9-0 run that was capped by a Damian Lillard layup with just over two second left to force OT. And then once they were there, it would be Lillard once again with the clutch gene, scoring with under a second to go for Portland.
The night belonged to Lillard, who finished the game with 37 points on 15-for-27 shooting to go along with seven assists, five rebounds, and three steals. He would play 41 minutes and would be joined by backcourt mate C.J. McCollum who contributed 23 points and 10 rebounds to the effort in the same amount of time.
For as impressive as the Portland comeback was, the Nuggets played the role of the goat to a tee. They would fail to score in the final two minutes of regulation, including forward Wilson Chandler missing two potentially game-icing free throws with four seconds to go in regulation.
It may have been a disastrous night for his team, but it was a coming out party for forward/center Nikola Jokic, who has had to battle both Jusuf Nurkic and Kenneth Faried for both minutes and the ball in Denver’s frontcourt. He’d finish the game with 23 points and 17 rebounds over 34 minutes, leading the Nuggets offense.
The Trail Blazers now sit at 2-1 after their comeback victory, but their next game will take place Tuesday night at home when they welcome in the Golden State Warriors for what will be their first matchup since being eliminated by the Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals last season.