"They look at me as a leader".
That's when the Nuggets' hopes of reaching their first Western Conference Finals in a decade died with a 7-of-24 shooting performance, including 3 of 10 from Jokic, who tearfully blamed himself in the locker room for the loss.
The Nuggets have gone 34-7 at home.
The Blazers are headed to their first Western Conference finals since 2000. Game 1 of that series will be Tuesday night in Oakland, Calif.
Things got chippy midway through the fourth quarter when Portland center Zach Collins fell at the feet of Nuggets guard Will Barton. "And I think when we come out on top in a game like this and a tough series like this, you see it in everybody's celebration". "I can't allow dudes to put their fingers in my eye".
It really doesn't get much more ruthless than that. The Denver Nuggets have won five of their last six home games. The team listed Hood's status as questionable, but he did not come back into the game.
Barton shrugged off the altercation and the emotions of the series.
He added: "I don't know what happened".
If having a huge performance in a Game 7 win on the road wasn't enough, getting co-signed by the best player in the league is a ideal way to complete McCollum's brilliant Sunday. 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. He struggled to find his stroke in Game 7 but still finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds. "Playoff debut, nearly averaged a triple-double in 14 games and was playing close to 40 minutes a night".
Even if Portland can contain Jokic, Denver has gotten scoring from others. Portland scrapped back with a 32-point third quarter to pull to within one, setting up a balls-to-the-wall fourth quarter.
Emotions, familiarity and animosity might negate that lack of experience Sunday.
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