In the Western Conference the Denver Nuggets take on the Portland Trail Blazers and the Phoenix Suns face the Los Angeles Lakers for Game 6.
Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Brazers
The Nuggets will try to clinch the series over the Blazers tonight at 8 p.m. in the Moda Center. Denver starting center Nikola Jokic scored 38 points in Game five to help his team take the series lead.
Denver will need to play critical defense against an upbeat Blazers offense as they are averaging 120.4 points and can pull away at any minute-off fast breaks or their uptempo offensive.
Denver head coach Michael Malone had this to say on closing out the series.
“The closeout game is the toughest game of any series,” Malone said. “Their players are not going to go quietly into the night. We’re gonna get a helluva good fight.”
The Nuggets will need to stay focused on offense and defense, if they plan to close the series to advance to round two to face either the Phoenix Suns or Los Angeles Lakers.
The Nuggets are averaging 17.6 second chance points per game and averaging 45.4 rebounds a game.
Damian Lillard will look to force a Game 7 after losing to the Nuggets 147-140 in double overtime Tuesday night. Lillard put on a 55 point performance.
He also added 10 assists, six rebounds, three blocks and a steal, making him the first player in history to record at least 50 points, 10 assists and 10 made 3-pointers in a single game, regular season or postseason, per ESPN Stats and Info. However, the offense will need to click on all cylinders if they play on winning.
Portland will need to have a tremendous defensive effort if they plan to take Game 6. In their last game, Jusuf Nurkic ended up fouling out, which caused a huge hole on the defensive end of the court.
The Blazers will need to play their heart out to tie the series and have a chance of advancing to the next round.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers.
Devin Booker scored 30 points to help Phoenix take the series lead Tuesday night.
In addition, Booker spoke on the upcoming matchup.
“It’s gonna be tough,” Booker said. “These are the defending champs. Obviously, they want to protect home court, also. We need it. We want it really bad. So, we’ve got to come in with a next-game mindset and build off of what we did (Tuesday).”
The Suns are averaging 43.6 points in the paint, 11.8-second-chance points, and 13 fast break points, which will help secure a victory. However, Phoenix will need to play great offense by taking the lead early and making the most out of each possession.
On the defensive side, the Suns will need to slow down the Laker’s offense. They will need to keep LeBron James from getting in an offensive rhythm if they plan on advancing to the next round.
The Lakers will need to bring their A-game if they plan to force a Game 7 tonight. If they are without Anthony Davis tonight, James will need to have an unbelievable performance to keep the Lakers NBA Championship dreams alive.
Los Angeles has been a great team defensively this season, so if they can get stops and forced turnovers, they should have a great shot at pulling off a victory.