The Rundown: Nuggets survive Lillard's 55, Nets advance to East semis

Published June 2, 2021, 4:00 PMMiguel Flores

Damian Lillard's historic 55-10 performance was not enough for the Blazers to win in Game 5. The Nets toppled the Celtics in five games to set a semis date with the Bucks.


Nets 123, Celtics 109
Suns 115, Lakers 85
Nuggets 147, Trail Blazers 140

What went down

Dame Time is fun no matter when it happens, but Playoff Dame Time is truly marvelous. In any other game against any other opponent, the Denver Nuggets’ four-point lead with less than a minute to go would have been enough to comfortably seal Game 5.

But this is Damian Lillard, the 100 emoji come to life who doesn't care about the odds.

The Portland Trail Blazers have long ridden on Lillard's back to some incredible playoff moments. Game 5 might have been his masterpiece. Later on, Lillard would drill another triple to send the game to a second overtime, proving that Dame Time cares not for our scheduled lunches or meetings. We have no choice but to watch.

The most incredible fact from this is how the Nuggets still won. Lillard dropped 55 points and a playoff record 12 3s. Denver grabbed Game 5 and drew closer to the Western Conference semifinals. Damian Lillard will rightly draw all the headlines and appreciation tweets, although Denver deserves the same appreciation just for surviving it.

Big-time baller

Amidst all the playoff hype from their New York neighbors, the Brooklyn Nets low-key dominated their series against the Boston Celtics. In the series-clinching Game 5, it was James Harden's turn to slightly outshine his two fellow superstars, dropping a 34-10-10 triple-double.

The Nets move on to face the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round. Given how their trio almost nonchalantly cruised past the Celtics, the Nets should have the upper hand against Giannis and the Bucks.

What he said

The defending champs are on the ropes. Without Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a 30-point romping against the Phoenix Suns. The game was never close. LeBron James, no stranger to being down 2-3 in the playoffs, is keeping a calm façade while everything seems to be burning around him.

Did you see that?

There’s a good chance that you, the reader of an article from NBA dot com, has never had to guard anyone like Damian Lillard.

This reaction from Austin Rivers is as close as we can get to understanding the feeling. When your closeout isn't working, it's probably time to open your heart to the Lord.