The LA Clippers blew a 16-point lead in the second half and the Denver Nuggets rallied back to avoid an elimination in Game 5. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray combined for 48 points in the 111-105 victory for Denver.
The slow-starting Denver faced four elimination games this postseason. The Nuggets won all four.
Denver pulled off a remarkable comeback in the first round when they trailed the Utah Jazz 3-1 and stormed back by winning three games in a row.
In the Western Conference Semifinals, the Nuggets didn’t panic when they fell into a 3-1 hole against Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers. They also didn’t implode when they were down double digits in the second half of Game 5 with their postseason lives on the line. Veteran Paul Millsap caught fire at the optimal time scoring 14 of his 17 points in the third quarter to help the Nuggets erase a 16-point deficit.
|#2 LA Clippers vs #3 Denver Nuggets|
- Tip-off: 10:00am PT
- Point Spread: -8.5
- Total: 213.5 o/u
- Money Line: DEN +310 / LAC -350
Denver comes into another elimination situation in Game 6 as a +8.5 underdog. They are 6-3 ATS in their last nine playoff games.
If you’re a total bettor, just a head’s up that the under hit 4-0-2 in the last six games for Denver.
West Semis Series Odds
DraftKings updated their NBA playoffs series odds. The LA Clippers are -2500 to knock out the Denver Nuggets and advance to the Western Conference Finals. Denver is 11/1 odds to rally back and win back-to-back series after trailing 3-1.
In the history of the NBA, the 3-1 comeback in the playoffs only happened 12 other times, including Denver’s comeback in the opening round against the Jazz.
In DraftKings’s series markets, you can also wager on the correct tally of the series. you can find the LA Clippers at -375 to defeat the Denver Nuggets 4-2, or in six games. The LA Clippers winning this series in a full seven games pays +360.
|LAC vs. DEN SERIES MARKETS|
|LA Clippers win 4-2||+375|
|LA Clippers win 4-3||+360|
|Denver Nuggets win 4-3||+1100|
If you love a live dog, then you can back the Denver Nuggets to win the series at +1100.
“Everybody continues to count us out,” said Denver coach Michael Malone. “That’s the way we like it.”
The LA Clippers are the consensus favorite to win the NBA title this year at 9/5 odds or +180. The Denver Nuggets are 60/1 odds to win the championship as one of the long shots on the futures board.
The Clippers want to finally get the jinxed monkey off their back and advance to the Western Conference finals. No one really considered the historical blemish until they choked in the fourth quarter against Denver.
Sure, you probably know that the Clippers never won a conference title in franchise history. But it’s even wilder to discover that the Clips never made it the West finals.
Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 36 points and Paul George added 26 points, but they lacked contributions across the board.
The Clippers bench were outscored 29-16, which is problematic considering they have two of the best reserves in the NBA (and Sixth Man Award winners) with Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams. The “Trez and Lou Show” was a dud on Friday night with only 10 combined points on 5-for-17 shooting. Williams missed eight shots including all five of his 3-point attempts.
Millsap Sparks Denver Run
Denver averaged 96.3 points in their three losses to the LA Clippers. They averaged 110.5 points in their victories. That’s a 14-point swing that’s difficult to ignore.
Despite the slow start, Millsap fired up the team mid-way through the third quarter with a fiery performance.
“He stood up,” said Malone. “His response to that situation really helped our team to respond. That gave us a group toughness. Paul played really well for us tonight. That play was really impactful.”
Millsap averaged 11.6 points per game in the regular season, but his offense trailed off in the playoffs. He averaged 8.1 ppg in the postseason before his inspiring third-quarter explosion in Game 5.
“He gave us life,” said Murray. “We were clawing back the whole game, and he got us going. He was physical, he was rebounding, he was setting good screens, hitting shots, doing everything. That really got me going, got everybody going. We built off that momentum.”
Denver shot 12-for-27 from 3-point land and connected on 44.4% of their treys. Murray went 5-for-7 from downtown, but he struggled from the rest of the floor with a 4-for-18 clip.
Emo Michael Porter, Jr. had been a non-factor for most of Game 5 until crunch time. He knocked down a clutch 3-pointer and then hit four free throws to help seal the victory for Denver and stave off elimination.
“The one thing you love about the kid is he’s not scared,” said LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers.