Blazers

Blazers Look to Clean Up Little Things in Game 5

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To put it simply, basketball is a game of runs. The team that gets the most is usually the victor. Sunday was no different, as the Denver Nuggets scrapped their way to a series-tying win in Game 4.

Good, But Not Good Enough

By no means did Portland play a bad game. In fact, this performance would be enough to beat the majority of the league. Yet in Game 4, Denver was the minority, doing everything to avoid going down 3-1. Denver did everything possible to edge out Portland, including this ridiculous shot by Jamal Murray.

 

 

Glancing at the box score won’t provide an obvious reason as to why fans left the Moda Center with their heads down. The Blazers lost on three fronts– all by slim margins.

Free Throws

Both teams shot 28 free throw attempts a piece, but Denver hit 25 to Portland’s 22. Many came from Portland’s early foul trouble, but the most important ones — the six that sealed the game — were delivered in the final minute.

Rebounding

Rebounding was the second facet that stopped Portland from taking a commanding lead. A +2 rebound advantage isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, but when there’s a five offensive rebound difference, the tides change. Denver scored 20 second chance points from their 17 extra possessions. Portland took home 13 points on 13 offensive boards. (20 is larger than 13).

Turnovers

Item three may be the most important in any victory; turnovers. Portland coughed the ball up 14 times– a +4 advantage for Denver. The Nuggets used every one of those takeaways to their advantage, scoring an average of 1.28 points on each one. Portland scores less than a point on each turnover, giving their opposition the needed cushion to go into their house with some confidence.

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In a seven game series there will never be a loss you’re proud of, but this one had its bright spots. Portland’s bench outscored Denver’s by four points with Seth Curry leading all bench scorers with 16. Rodney Hood was up to his last minute scoring antics yet again, adding five of his seven total points in the 4th quarter. If they can keep this fervor going into Denver, we could be looking at a seven game series.

Game 5 tips off tonight at 7:30 PT on TNT.

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