NBA

Rodney Hood Can Be a Difference-Maker for Portland Trail Blazers in Game 7 vs. Denver Nuggets

The Portland Trail Blazers bounced back from their Game 5 loss to force a visit to the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, May 12 at 3:30 PM ET

Pepsi Center

Coverage: ABC

Lillard, McCollum and Come Through for Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers beat the Nuggets 119-108 in Game 6 last Thursday, behind 32 points, five assists and three rebounds from Damian Lillard and 30 points, six rebounds and three assists from CJ McCollum. Rodney Hood stepped up with a playoff career-high 25 points in 32 minutes off the bench.

Nikola Jokic finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets, Jamal Murray had 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists and Paul Millsap added 17 points, six rebounds and three steals. Gary Harris also played well with 15 points and five assists in the loss.

NBA Trends:

The Portland Trail Blazers are:

34-16-3 ATS in their last 53 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points

26-12 ATS in their last 38 games when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game

5-2 ATS in their last seven games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game

The Denver Nuggets are:

No key trends

Al-Farouq Aminu and Maurice Harkless had a poor showing in Game 6; Aminu scored just seven points, he was just 1-for-4 from the free-throw line and he finished with a team-low -9 plus/minus (+/-) in 17 minutes while Harkless scored just two points on 1-for-5 from the field in 16 minutes for a -8 plus/minus (+/-).

With Aminu and Harkless struggling, Rodney Hood, the team's third-leading scorer in this series, delivered 25 points on 8 of 12 shooting and 3 of 4 from beyond the arc, proving how good he's always been and that he needed another opportunity to prove his worth.

A similar effort from Hood in Game 7 and the usual level of production from Lillard and McCollum would help the Trail Blazers at least be competitive on Sunday.

NBA Pick: Trail Blazers +5.5 (-110) at Jazz Sports

Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzonaff

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