The Portland Trail Blazers started off their daunting seven-game, post-All-Star break road trip with a 113-99 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night, in front of a raucous Barclays Center crowd. The Blazers saw a double-digit fourth quarter lead evaporate, but were able to recover over the final few minutes to hold on for the victory. Jusuf Nurkic led Portland with a game-high 27 points, while former Blazer Allen Crabbe paced the Nets with 17 of his own off the bench.
Here are a few takeaways from tonight’s game:
- Bruise Brothers. Nurkic had a dominating performance, going for 12 rebounds and three blocks in addition to his scoring. However, it was newcomer Enes Kanter who stole the show, scoring 18 points (on 8-9 shooting) along with nine rebounds in his Blazer debut. The dynamic duo pulverized the Nets offensively, throwing their weight around against an undersized post defense.
- Moe Steps Up. Maurice Harkless had a solid performance in his return to his hometown. He went for 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while also hitting some key buckets down the stretch.
- Familiar Faces. Former Blazers Crabbe, Ed Davis (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Shabazz Napier (seven points, 10 assists) all were a big part of the Nets attack, and helped them get get back in the game in the fourth quarter.
The Blazers travel to Philly for a Saturday morning tilt (10 a.m. PT) against the 76ers—who will be playing without star Joel Embiid. Stay tuned for more coverage on tonight’s game from Blazer’s Edge.