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Nuggets advance, beat out Trailblazers with MVP performance from Jokić

Steven Bonifazi

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By Steven Bonifazi

(DENVER, Colo.) The Denver Nuggets defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 126 - 115 in Game 6 Thursday at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals.

The win was secured by help from Nuggets' center Nikola Jokić who scored a total of 36 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. The 6'11 center has nearly sealed his spot for MVP, with other likely competitors such as Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry and Philidelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid being removed from the conversation.

Other notable performances came from Monte Morris, scoring 22 points in the game with 16 in the second half. He additionally had 9 assists, a playoff career-high for the point guard.

The Trailblazers did all they could, with point guard Damian Lillard scoring 28 points, 4 rebounds and 13 assists in Game 6 against the Nuggets. Similarly, the Pheonix Suns beat out the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night, making history as it was the first time Lakers' shooting guard LeBron James has been eliminated in the first round of playoffs in his entire NBA career.

This will be the first time in 11 years that James and Curry will not be in the NBA Finals, according to USA TODAY.

As the Nuggets prepare to face the Suns, they are a few matchups that are shaping out to be great. Not only will Jokić be playing on the same court as fellow MVP contender Chris Paul, but he will also be matched up against Suns' center Deandre Aytonm who played for 32 minutes in Game 6 against the Lakers, scoring 8 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist.

The Nuggets will face Chris Paul and the Pheonix Suns in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals Monday at 8 p.m.

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