Bold predictions for Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets Game 5

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets are all knotted up at two games apiece in their Western Conference Semifinals matchup heading into Game 5.

Game details: Here’s a look at the start time, television information and odds for Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets Game 5.

The big picture: It’s been a wild series so far, with both teams experiencing highs and lows. The quadruple-overtime battle in Game 3 really showed how evenly matched the Blazers and Nuggets are. Seven games isn’t out of the question, and it might just be probable given how the series has gone so far.

Take a gander at our bold predictions for Game 5.

Joker gets wild with 30-plus, and third straight triple-double

Nikola Jokic has been the best player on the court for both teams so far this series. His performances the past two games have been nothing short of magnificent — two straight triple-doubles, including a stunning 65-minute effort in the quadruple-overtime Game 3.

Can he keep it up? We say yes. Jokic not only will continue to stay hot, but he’ll pull off his second 30-plus-point triple-double in three games.

CJ McCollum gets hot from three, scores 35-plus

McCollum has stepped up his scoring efforts in a big way during the postseason. He’s well above his season average of 21 points per game (25.3) and has really turned it on the past two games, scoring 41 and 29 points, respectively.

The one thing McCollum hasn’t been able to do consistently, however, is hit from behind the arc. In this series against the Nuggets, the Blazers star guard has converted just 13-of-33 three-point attempts. That changes tonight, as McCollum will regain his shooting touch from outside en route to a huge scoring performance.

Jamal Murray wins the PG battle

The point guard battle between Murray and Damian Lillard has been a ton of fun to watch. Both players are among the best the NBA has to offer at this position, with Murray emerging as a budding superstar during this year’s NBA Playoffs.

Following up on two straight 34-point efforts, Murray will continue to stay aggressive going against Lillard, winning the battle in Game 5. Fans who stay up late enough to watch the game come to its conclusion are bound to see something special.

Lillard still can’t find the range

Portland’s leader has never been crazy efficient from three-point land. He’s a career 36.8% shooter from behind the arc and was only slightly better than that (36.9%) this past regular season.

However, he’d love to even sniff that mark this postseason. It’s been rough going for Lillard as he attempts to find his range of late — he’s shooting just 24.6% against Denver this series, and just 21.7% the past three games. Unfortunately for Portland, we’re predicting a continued cold front will hang over Lillard’s outside shot in Game 5.

Nuggets take 3-2 lead with big win at home

Denver responded to the brutal Game 3 loss with a strong showing in Game 4. The Nuggets dominated the third quarter and hung on to win by four points to even the series up.

Game 5 won’t be as close as all that. The Nuggets will get a boost from the home crowd and pull out to an early double-digit lead. From there, Portland will be playing catch-up. And despite what we predict will be a big game from McCollum, the Blazers just won’t have enough offensive firepower to keep up.