An OT three-pointer from Damian Lillard. Jun 1, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots and ties the game in overtime against the Denver Nuggets during game five in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The first NBA playoff game Tuesday night wasn’t much of a contest, with the Brooklyn Nets thumping the Boston Celtics 123-109 to claim that series, but one of the later games more than made up for that. Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series between the sixth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers and the third-seeded Denver Nuggets (who were tied 2-2 heading into this game) proved an excellent contest, with Denver taking a 38-25 lead by the end of the first quarter but Portland rallying back to cut the lead to 65-62 at the half. And the last seconds of regulation had a notable highlight of their own, with Blazers’ guard Damian Lillard draining a long three to send the game to overtime:

That led to not one, but two, overtime periods. And it only went to two because of another great Lillard shot at the end of the first overtime (pictured above):

In the end, a three-pointer from Michael Porter Jr. that put the Nuggets up 143-140 with 1:33 left in the second overtime proved decisive. The Blazers weren’t able to score after that, with Norm Powell missing a three, Robert Covington missing from in close, and C.J. McCollum committing a late turnover. But it was still remarkable that they pushed it this far, and the two big shots from Lillard (who had 55 points on the night on 17-of-24 shooting, including 12 of 17 makes from three-point range) were key to that.

[; photo from Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.