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Nurkic, Lillard Leads Blazers Past Pacers, 100-86

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The Blazers set the pace tonight, running Indiana out of the Moda Center in a relatively easy 100-86 win.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers weren’t perfect, but rode strong performances from Jusuf Nurkic and Damian Lillard to pull away from the Indiana Pacers late 100-86 Thursday night at the Moda Center.

Portland didn’t look world-beating by any stretch, and allowed a very mediocre Pacer team to hang around and even hold a lead late in the second half before flipping a switch in the fourth quarter and running away with it.

  • I wanna go fast! Indiana clearly wanted a shootout and the Blazers opted to oblige, getting off 94 shots to the Pacers’ 91. Neither team was really knocking it down at any sort of consistent rate, but that didn’t stop guys from channeling “7 Seconds or Less” for a night. It made for an entertaining game, albeit not the prettiest. Lillard appeared to be the primary beneficiary of the tempo, scoring often in transition for a game-high 26 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds.
  • Out of the doghouse. After riding the pine for stretches against the Suns, Nurkic played 32 dominant minutes against the Pacers, racking up 19 points, 17 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Nurk was licking his chops from the get-go going against the capable but much smaller Domantas Sabonis, who he just bullied en route to one of his best games of the season.
  • Not so efficient. Mickey D’s enthusiasts were relieved by CJ McCollum’s three with 19 seconds to go which salvaged free breakfast treats for fans tomorrow, which seemed unusually late in the game to reach the mark for a team practicing All-Star Game shot selection. The Blazers were actually quite awful from the floor, shooting 39% overall and an abysmal 31% from deep. Portland was lucky the Pacers couldn’t do any better.
  • King of Comedy. Coach Terry Stotts’ postgame press conference was cold-opened by Cedric the Entertainer, who apparently likes the Blazers. No, really.

Box Score

Highlights:

What’s Next

The Blazers will get a day off before hosting the Dallas Mavericks Saturday evening at the Moda Center - Tip is set for 7 p.m. Stay tuned to Blazer’s Edge for a full analysis of this game.

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