This season the Nuggets ended a six-year playoff drought and were the second seeds in the West, but Portland will now face the Golden State Warriors for the conference title. A bigger concern for Portland is trying to stop Denver center Nikola Jokic.
McCollum's big game was necessary because Damian Lillard made just 3 of 17 shots for 13 points, although two of them were crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Over the first six games of the second-round matchup, he's averaged 16.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and shot 62.4 percent from the field.
After the game, McCollum was asked about the key play and joked that he was channeling "my boy [LeBron James] from the 330". Jamal Murray had 14 points, but was 4 of 18 from the floor. "He put it right there for me and I went and got it 'Bron style. No one has ever been drafted there so for me, it's about showing what I can do every night and keeping the door open for the next mid-major", said McCollum, who shot 17-for-29 on the field. "It's something that I'll remember forever - I might get a picture of that one, hang that joint up".
The second half was more of the same, as he stayed stuck at seven points well into the fourth quarter.
"The King" agreed, giving McCollum a shoutout after the game on Twitter and declaring that his favorite play was the chasedown block.
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After the game Jokic admitted he was "disappointed" they had lost the series and had not taken advantage of the "great opportunity" to progress to the Conference Finals in the West.
"I hope after 14 playoff games, America, everyone around the world, came to appreciate his game", Malone said. I think we really built that up from the jump.
Rodney Hood, who has been a revelation off the bench fro Portland in the series, was coming across halfcourt backwards when he ran square into a Torrey Craig screen and suffered a hyper-extended left knee.
Overall, the Nuggets were 2 of 19 from beyond the arc and missed 11 free throws. Portland was 4-of-26 on three-pointers and 20-of-24 from the stripe.