NBA Playoffs 2021: Norman Powell catches fire in dominant Game 4 win over Denver Nuggets

NBA Playoffs 2021: Norman Powell catches fire in dominant Game 4 win over Denver Nuggets

Well, that was quite the statement.

After a tough loss in Game 3, the Portland Trail Blazers dominated the Denver Nuggets to tie the series at 2-2.

Norman Powell led all scorers with 29 points on an impressive 11-for-15 shot from the field. CJ McCollum added 21 points while Damian Lillard fell to two rebounds from a triple-double, posting 10 points (1-10 FG), 10 assists and eight rebounds.

To learn more about the game, some thoughts on the buzzer …

1. Happy birthday to a legend

Born May 29, 1984, Carmelo Anthony turned 37 on Saturday (ET). He celebrated by scoring 12 points off the bench against his former team.

2. An unusual start

In the first three games of this series, Nikola Jokic averaged 13.0 points in the first quarter on a combined – expect it – 17 for 21 (81.0%) shots from the field and 3 for 4 (75 , 0%) of 3 point range.

It was the second-highest number in the league heading into Saturday’s games. The only player who averaged over Jokic was LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (13.3).

So it was a little weird to see Jokic slowly come out of the doors in this one. He was Denver’s second leading scorer during the period with six points, but he started the game shooting 1 on 7. We thank Nurkic and the Blazers for the pressure they put on him, but at least some Jokic’s misses were shots he usually makes.

With the way Jokic started out, the Nuggets were fortunate not to fall more than eight points early in the second quarter.

3. Welcome to the dunk show

Even more surprising? Two of Jokic’s three shots in the first quarter were dunks.

The first came from a smooth pass from Facundo Campazzo.

The second came from a bogus transfer with Austin Rivers.

4. Take over

Lillard also had a quiet start. The difference was that he got a bit more help from his teammates than Jokic.

Powell led the charge in the first quarter, setting the tone for the Blazers with 10 points on 4 for 5 shots from the field and 2 for 2 to 3 points.

Nurkic was not far behind Powell in the scoring column, adding nine points and three rebounds in the first quarter. McCollum then ran the show in the second quarter. In addition to scoring six points, McCollum distributed four assists.

At halftime, Powell, Nurkic and McCollum had 38 points on a 16-for-25 shot. Including Lillard, everyone on the Blazers had 19 points on a 5-for-17 shot.

5. The game-changing race

It didn’t take long for the Blazers to turn a 10-point halftime lead into a 20-point lead.

In the opening minutes of the third quarter, the Blazers went on a 10-0 run to gain full control of the game, forcing the Nuggets to stop the bleeding with an early timeout.

Once again, it was Powell who came out loud for Portland. He scored six of the team’s 10 points during that game-changing streak, draining a few free throws followed by a runner and a midrange pull-up.

Powell scored four more points during the period to bring his tally to 23 points in the game.

You know, Powell was feeling great because there was a lot of bending going on.

6. A tough game for the Nuggets

After averaging 36.0 points on 0.577 / 0.500 / 0.944 shooting spreads in the first three games of this series, Jokic finished with 16 points on a 7-for-18 shot from the field in the game. 4. Michael Porter Jr. struggled well, finishing with three runs on a 1v3 shot in 22 minutes of play.

Without Jamal Murray, it will be difficult for the Nuggets to beat any team with Jokic and Porter struggling as much as them. Expect them both to bounce in Game 5.

7. What’s next

Tied at 2-2, the series returns to Denver for Game 5 on Tuesday. As one-sided as Game 4 is, it feels like a series that could go the distance.

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