CJ McCollum scored 41 points as the Portland Trail Blazers pulled out a 140-137 victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets in four overtimes Friday night in the longest NBA playoff game since 1953.
Damian Lillard added 28 points for the Trail Blazers, who took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals.
Jamal Murray scored 34 points, and Nikola Jokic collected 33 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists for the Nuggets in a game that featured 24 lead changes.
Game 4 is scheduled for Sunday in Portland.
Will Barton split a pair at the line, giving Denver a 134-133 lead with one minute left in the fourth OT, but Rodney Hood’s baseline jumper pushed Portland in front 135-134 with 44.9 seconds to go. Paul Millsap’s layup lifted the Nuggets into a 136-135 advantage with 27.6 seconds to play.
Hood swished a 3-pointer to give the Blazers a 138-136 edge with 17.8 seconds remaining. Jokic made 1 of 2 foul shots to make it 138-137 with 5.6 seconds on the clock.
Portland’s Seth Curry hit a pair at the line for a 140-137 lead with 2.8 ticks left. Denver’s inbounds pass was intercepted, and the game was Portland’s.
At the end of regulation, Lillard scored on a driving layup to give the Blazers a 102-100 edge with 31.6 seconds left.
Barton’s layup tied it again at 102-102 with 28.6 seconds remaining. Portland’s Al-Farouq Aminu missed a 3-point attempt, and it was on to overtime.
In the first overtime, Millsap scored on a jump hook to pull the Nuggets ahead 109-107 with 47.1 seconds to play.
After misses at both ends, McCollum evened the score at 109-109 on a floater with 8.7 ticks left.
After a timeout, Jokic missed a desperation 3-point attempt, forcing a second extra session.
In the second OT, McCollum’s step-back jumper made it 118-116 Portland with 1:26 remaining, but Barton tied it on a layup with 1:03 left.
Neither team scored again, and it was on to a third overtime.
Millsap made it 129-125 on a turnaround jumper with 32.2 seconds remaining in the third extra session.
Lillard scored on a driving layup to trim the difference to 129-127 with 27.3 seconds left. After a Denver turnover, Lillard converted another driving layup to square it at 129-129 with 8.4 ticks left.
Murray’s desperation 3-point try missed as time expired, and a fourth extra session loomed.
—Field Level Media