Denver beats Portland 120-115, goes up 2-1 in playoff series


Denver newcomer Austin Rivers stole the spotlight from Nikola Jokic with a fourth-quarter outburst against Portland.

Jokic dominated as usual, with 36 points and 11 rebounds in the Nuggets’ 120-115 victory Thursday night over the Trail Blazers. But Rivers propelled Denver to a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Signed late last month when the Nuggets were struggling with injuries, Rivers hit four 3-pointers during a crucial stretch in the final quarter and finished with 21 points. Third-seeded Denver had 20 3s overall.

“It feels good. I don’t know how much I can elaborate on that, this feels really good,” Rivers said. “This game can bring you the lowest feeling in the world. I swear, some of these nights you feel so low. And this game can make you feel so good about yourself too.”

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