Nuggets tie series behind Nikola Jokic’s triple-double of playoffs

The Nuggets have been good at bouncing back all season.

Not even a four-overtime defeat could keep this team down.

Nikola Jokic had 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his second straight triple-double and fourth of the playoffs, and the Nuggets evened their Western Conference semifinal series against the Trail Blazers at 2-2 with a 116-112 victory in Portland on Sunday.

It was less than 48 hours after Portland’s epic 140-137 quadruple-overtime victory to take a 2-1 lead in the series. It was only the second game in playoff history that went to four OTs. The other was in 1953.

“I think it’s not quitting. We have a lot of competitive guys who don’t want to lose. I think we don’t want to lose more than we like to win — which is weird,” Jokic said. “We just didn’t want to have the excuse that we lost because of four overtimes, because we were tired.”

Jamal Murray led all scorers with 34 points and made all 11 free-throw tries for the Nuggets, who handed Portland its first postseason loss at home this season. The series heads back to Denver for Game 5 on Tuesday.

CJ McCollum had 29 points and Damian Lillard 28 for the Blazers.

Raptors 101, 76ers 96: Kawhi Leonard capped a 39-point outing with a 3-pointer with 1:01 left as Toronto won in Philadelphia to even the Eastern Conference semifinals series at 2-2.

Marc Gasol scored 16 points, Kyle Lowry had 14 and the Raptors rebounded after consecutive losses to reclaim home-court advantage.

“We needed some punch around the roster,” Toronto head coach Nick Nurse said. “It was a different mentality. Guys were looking to shoot, taking the first shot that was there.”

Playing before a raucous crowd, the Sixers failed to take control of the series and now must win at least one more game on the road to advance.

“We got humbled,” said Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler, who scored a team-high 29 points. Game 5 is Tuesday in Toronto.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Nuggets-tie-series-behind-Nikola-Jokic-s-13821493.php.

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