CJ McCollum scored 37 points, including a fadeaway jumper with 11.4 seconds left, as the Portland Trail Blazers rallied to beat the host Denver Nuggets 100-96 in Game 7 of the Western Conference semi-finals on Sunday.
Portland Trail Blazers
- Points: CJ McCollum - 37
- Assists: Damian Lillard - 8
- Rebounds: Enes Kanter - 13
- Points: Nikola Jokic - 29
- Assists: Jamal Murray - 5
- Rebounds: Nikola Jokic - 13
Trail Blazers win series 4-3
Damian Lillard was held to 13 points on 3-of-17 shooting and added 10 rebounds and eight assists. The Trail Blazers overcame a 17-point first-half deficit to advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2000.
Game 1 against Golden State is Tuesday in Oakland, California.
McCollum added nine rebounds and Enes Kanter had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Nikola Jokic had 29 points and 13 rebounds and Jamal Murray scored 17 for the Nuggets.
Denver, who led for most of the game, went without a field goal for 5:33 in the fourth quarter until Gary Harris hit a lay-up and Jokic followed with a floater to make it 94-93 with 1:43 left.
McCollum's jumper in the final 12 seconds made it 98-95.
Jokic was fouled and split two free throws and Evan Turner hit two with eight seconds left to seal series victory.
Blazers swingman Rodney Hood, who scored 25 points in Game 6, left in the third quarter with a left knee hyperextension and did not return. He had just six points.
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Portland, who missed 18 of their 19 three-pointers in the first three quarters, hit two early in the fourth. Zach Collins drained one from the wing to put the Blazers ahead by two and Lillard hit another off an offensive rebound to give Portland an 81-76 lead with 8:53 left.
The Blazers led 87-83 when Murray went up for a fast-break lay-up but McCollum blocked it. Turner hit two free throws to make it 89-83 with 4:26 left.
Paul Millsap hit two free throws with 3:47 left to cut it to four and had a chance to get it to two, but Lillard stole an outlet pass and drained a three-pointer to make it 92-85 with 3:09 left.
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Portland trailed by nine at intermission but took its first lead on McCollum's jumper with 12.1 seconds left in the third to give the Blazers a 71-70 advantage.
Monte Morris hit two free throws with 3.8 seconds left to give Denver a 72-71 lead heading into the fourth.
The Trail Blazers face the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals in the early hours of Wednesday morning, live on Sky Sports Arena.