Nurkic Fever hit Philadelphia early, but the Sixers found a remedy with some hot shooting as the Blazers found themselves having to work overtime. In the extra period, Nurkic led a team effort to down the Sixers 114-108. The game was a wild, twisting ride for the fans at Moda Center, including the kids in the building for Blazer’s Edge Kids Night.
The Blazers were led by Jusuf Nurkic with 28 points, 20 rebounds, 8 assists, 6 blocks and 2 steals. The Sixers were led by Dario Saric with 28 points.
Full highlights of Nurkic’s memorable performance are at the top of this article. Here are the full game highlights:
Jusuf Nurkic got the block party started early, pulling out five Nope cards in the first quarter alone. While Nurkic was making a list of return-to-senders, the Blazers were spreading the wealth offensively with CJ McColllum and Allen Crabbe each recording seven points in the first quarter to take a lead of 10.
The Blazers built a 12 point advantage before the Sixers found some hot shooting on the perimeter, try around 80% for the second quarter, and made it a game again. The Blazers ended the half leading by only five despite Nurkic leading the way with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 blocks. McCollum had 14 points to lead all Blazers.
Halftime: Portland 57, Philadelphia 52,
Mild panic set in at the 8 minute mark of the third when the Sixers took a one point lead, continuing their torrid outside shooting. The Blazers partially righted the ship when grabbing a six point lead off a McCollum baseline three. But, turnovers and lazy defense allowed the road team to take a 78-76 lead heading into the fourth.
The Blazers led by one with two minutes remaining. The two teams traded misses before the Sixers’ Dario Saric grabbed the lead from the foul line with a minute to go. Nurkic went to the line with 33 seconds remaining, making 1 of 2 to tie. After a Sixers miss, Philadelphia fouls McCollum intentionally(?), who calmly sinks two free-throws to put the home team up two with 19 seconds left.
The Blazers got a key steal from Al-Farouq Aminu on the next possession, but he throws it away seconds later, giving Philadelphia one last chance to tie or win. The Blazers got their defensive stop but can’t corral the rebound and Robert Covington ties the game on the put-back. To overtime we go.
Trading blows for the first three minutes, Damian Lillard scores four straight to give the Blazers a narrow cushion with less than a minute and a half left. Nurkic made a key defensive play with 40 seconds remaining that resulted in a Crabbe floater that gave the Blazers a six point lead with 20 seconds remaining.
Because there wasn’t enough drama yet, McCollum fouled Gerald Henderson on a three point attempt on the next possession, but Henderson could only connect on two of the three free-throws. The Sixers could not overcome the deficit and the Blazers win their fourth straight in a thriller.
The Blazers get a day off before returning to the Moda Center on Saturday night to take on the Washington
Bullets Wizards. Tip off is at 7pm. Stay tuned for Blazer’s Edge tonight, for extended analysis of this game from Willy Raedy.