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Feisty Nuggets-Trail Blazers series down to decisive finale

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Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) and forward Paul Millsap (4) block a shot by Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter in the second quarter in game five of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center. -- RON CHENOY-USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES — Paul Millsap is the sage veteran among the youthful Denver Nuggets, but even he had to admit he was sick of seeing the Portland Trail Blazers.

And that was after five games of this seven-game Western Conference semifinal series that is tied at 3-3. The sentiment hasn’t changed heading into Sunday’s Game 7 in Denver.

The winner will advance to the conference finals to play the two-time reigning champion Golden State Warriors. Game 1 of that series will be Tuesday night in Oakland, Calif.

The fatigue of Denver and Portland playing each other 10 times in the regular season and playoffs came to a head in the Trail Blazers’ 119-108 win on Thursday. Things got chippy midway through the fourth quarter when Portland center Zach Collins fell at the feet of Nuggets guard Will Barton.

Blazers guard Seth Curry pushed Barton away from Collins and Barton responded by putting a finger in Curry’s face. — Reuters

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