The Portland Trail Blazers survived the 68-minute marathon against the Denver Nuggets on Friday with a 140-137 win at home. Since it had been over 60 years since the last time a postseason game had gone the distance of four overtimes (1953), neither team had exactly prepared for this particular scenario. On the floor, the lack of preparedness showed itself with a fresh-legged Rodney Hood becoming a playoff hero and mercifully bringing Game 3 to an end with a late scoring burst. Off it, the NBA itself was barely even able to keep up with the action as both the league’s app and website nearly went full-Y2K on its users.
Of course, unlike the expectations of Y2K, the app and site didn’t crash in a way that brought an apocalyptic end to civilization as we know it. Instead, the numbers were just later updated to show that CJ McCollum played for 60 minutes and Nikola Jokic played for 64.
Those numbers are impressive in their own right, but even more impressive is what the box score doesn’t show. McCollum’s 60 minutes don’t point out that when he was asked about how tired he was after the game, he told ESPN that he felt fine (honestly, I believe him). Jokic’s 64 minutes don’t show that he played the second half and all four overtimes in its entirety, nor does it show his intense longing for the sweet, sweet release of death by the time he was tasked with hitting two free throws to try and tie the game up late in the final period of play.
The bad news is that he missed his first attempt and sealed the game for Portland. The good news is that he won’t have to wait long to try and redeem himself because Game 4 is on Sunday at 7 p.m.—a mere 41 hours removed from the end of Game 3.