Published: Tue, May 14, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Warriors Star Unlikely To Play In First 2 Games

Warriors Star Unlikely To Play In First 2 Games

The Trail Blazers have proven they can win on the road - they're 2-2 in these playoffs - and haven't had a dominant game from guard Damian Lillard since he scored 39 in Game 1.

It's do or die for the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers as they square off in Game 7 on Sunday afternoon with a trip to the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors on the line. They got past the Orlando Magic in the first round without too much trouble, but then had to go through seven grueling games to get past the Philadelphia 76ers.

But it was Lillard's co-star, McCollum, who had a coming out party in Round 2. Portland's two top scorers, Lillard and CJ McCollum, have combined for 311 points in the series. He single-handedly outscored Boston's bench in Games 3 and 4, and with Malcolm Brogdon out for the majority of that series, he stepped up in a big way to help his team advance to the Conference Finals.

Each team needs their star to show up in a big way, but especially the Raptors, whose supporting cast has been unreliable at times throughout the first two rounds.

Then again, he didn't have to with McCollum shredding the Nuggets at every turn.

McCollum finished his night 17-of-29 from the floor with nine rebounds and iced the game late with a handsome mid-range jumper in the face of Torrey Craig.

A win Sunday would be viewed as just another step closer to the ultimate goal for a squad that was rebuilt for immediate success in mind: a spot in the National Basketball Association finals this season. With 12.1 seconds to play, Embiid made two free throws to trim the lead to one. Blazers fans, at least the ones I knew, wallowed in their discontent. "Before the game, my brother texted me and told me not to settle". I want it to be close. "And I thought I did that".

"I couldn't really pass the ball and grip the ball, but that doesn't matter", Lowry said.

"We had a body of work where we were the best shooting team in the league, from the Marc Gasol trade on, so it's not like I'm pie-in-the-skying it here". But they're each vital to their team and when they play well, so does their team. The Nuggets clearly struggled with the magnitude of the moment.

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Look, Simmons was pretty good during Sunday's Game 7, and his 21 points made an impact in Philly's Game 6 win.

I still have to go with the Bautista home run, and maybe it's because of the punches and brawls that came the following year that imprints it even more in my brain, or maybe it's the freshness of what happened for Leonard and the Raptors on Sunday. The series was in their control and they let the ball drop. "I couldn't ask for anything more of our guys".

Draymond Green, the Warriors leader and true clutch performer, was a big victor too for impacting the series as only he can.

The Blazers are headed to their first conference finals since 2000.

Enes Kanter outstanding performances have tailed off in the past couple games, leaving the Blazers exposed in their frontcourt.

Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors reacts against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 3, 2018 in Oakland, California.

Of Portland's 93 games, 50 have finished over the O/U total, while 51 of Denver's 95 games have finished under the projected point total.

Blazers guard Seth Curry pushed Barton away from Collins and Barton responded by putting a finger in Curry's face.

A key betting trend to note is that teams who missed the playoffs the year prior are just 3-16 in Game 7s against a team that did qualify the year before.

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