An OT three-pointer from Damian Lillard.

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.

[NBA.com; photo from Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.