All it took was one quarter for Austin Rivers to power the Denver Nuggets to a pivotal Game 3 win.

On Thursday night, Rivers exploded with the hot hand in the fourth quarter to break a close game. With six minutes left in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 91-91, Rivers took it upon himself to lead the Nuggets to victory. The guard started to knock down threes to lift Denver as the clock ticked down in the fourth. Rivers scored 16 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter. The guard scored four three-pointers to give Denver the lead late in the game.

The heroic playoff performance from Rivers allowed Denver to take a 120-115 win over Portland and gave them a 2-1 series lead. The win and performance were a great feeling for Rivers, who was not signed until April. The guard was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder from the New York Knicks in March but was waived a few days later. Rivers was on his couch until Denver signed him to a 10-day contract in April. He was eventually signed for the rest of the season after Nuggets star Jamal Murray suffered a season-ending injury.

“I sat there for like a month and a half, waiting on the phone to ring,” Rivers told reporters after the game. “I just put my faith in God, having conversations with myself, talking to God like, ‘What’s the plan? What’s going to happen? All the feedback I kept getting is, a lot of teams liked me, but they didn’t know what type of character I was and how I’d be in their locker room. My basketball ability was never questioned; it was who I was as a person. Which is actually even worse.”

“Truthfully, it broke my heart. Because I know who I am, and I’ve always had good relationships with people, but you can have one instance with mistakes and be labeled something.”

“Couldn’t be happier for the kid,” coach Michael Malone said of Rivers.

The Nuggets will look to take a 3-1 series lead in Game 4 against the Trail Blazers.

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