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Denver Ousts Portland, Enters West Semis

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Denver Nuggets leaned on a strong second half rally to score a 126-115 victory over Portland Trail Blazers in Game 6 of the NBA Western Conference first round playoffs on Thursday at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.

Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists while Michael Porter Jr. added 26 points, including 22 in the opening quarter.

Monte Morris had another solid outing with 22 points, Aaron Gordon fired 13 points, while Facundo Campazzo and Jamychal Green added 10 points each for the Nuggets.

Denver finished the best-of-seven series at 4-2 and will face the winner of Phoenix Suns-Los Angeles Lakers series in the Western Conference semifinals.

Trailing by double-digits in the third period, the Nuggets mounted a huge rally to come to within 98-101 after 36 minutes on a buzzer-beating triple from Morris.

Denver gained control of the match at 108-106 after a basket by Jokić before widening it to 117-108 on an Austin Rivers triple.

The Trail Blazers tried to catch up to within 115-121 on CJ McCollum’s layup, but Gordon hit a 3-pointer that all but sealed it for the Nuggets.

Damian Lillard finished with 28 points and 13 assists for the sixth-seeded Blazers.