The melee came in the final minute of the Blazers' 97-90 win Wednesday at Pepsi Center in Denver. Blazers star Damian Lillard was shooting a free throw with 43.5 seconds remaining during the sequence. Lillard made the shot before his teammate, Enes Kanter, was pushed by Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic.
Kanter turned and slammed into Nuggets forward Torrey Craig, knocking him to the ground. Coaches and players met at half court, with several players pushing each other. Kanter and Nuggets guard Jamal Murray were both given double technicals for their roles in the skirmish.
Portland led by as many as 17 points during the victory, which pushed the Western Conference semifinals series to 1-1. The game had just two lead changes.
Kanter helped the Blazers to a 28-23 first quarter lead with nine points in the opening frame. The Blazers ended the first half on a 6-0 run, pushing their lead to 50-35. Portland held a 14-point advantage entering the fourth frame.
Denver got within five points of the lead down the stretch, but couldn't close the gap in the fourth quarter.
C.J. McCollum led the Blazers with 20 points in the win. Lillard shot just 5-for-17 from the field and had 14 points for Portland. Kanter and Rodney Hood each scored 15 points in the win. Jokic led the Nuggets with 16 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in the loss.
"I thought in the first half, our team did a great job of just picking up our physicality," Lillard told reporters.
"In the second half it was just a grind-it-out type of game."
The Blazers host the Nuggets in Game 3 at 10:30 p.m. Friday at Moda Center in Portland.