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A Brief Video History of Jusuf Nurkic vs. Paul George and Russell Westbrook

We revisit Thursday’s epic battle between Nurkic and OKC’s Dynamic Duo.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

As history warned, a matchup between the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder invariably results in a few scuffles, and Thursday’s edition featured Jusuf Nurkic, Russell Westbrook, and Paul George. The ultimate result: Nurkic’s ejection, which altered the outcome of the fourth quarter and overtime.

Round 1: Nurkic vs. Westbrook

Tonight’s saga began when Nurkic and Westbrook lagged behind a play in the second quarter. Westbrook took exception to the placement of Nurkic’s foot and responded with a body-block.

The referees assessed a Flagrant 1 on Westbrook for the shove and a technical on Nurkic for the trip.

Round 2: Nurkic vs. George’s Elbow

George, who was driving to the hoop, whacked his right elbow into Nurkic’s jaw. But since no foul was called, there was no opportunity for the referees to review the play afterward.

Round 3: Nurkic vs. George’s Head

Shortly after the George elbow, in the dying moments of regulation, the Blazers were attempted tie the game. Nurkic popped up from a hard foul and Paul George hurled a few words at the big man. Here’s the result:

Both players earned offsetting technical fouls, so Nurkic was ejected.

Per NBA rules, Oklahoma City decided who replaced Nurkic to shoot his two free throws. Billy Donovan selected recently-acquired Blazer Skal Labissiere, who missed both. But a fortunate foul call on Markieff Morris in a scramble for the rebound put Aminu at the line. Aminu sunk both and sent the game to overtime.

Portland felt Nurkic’s absence in overtime as well. The Thunder attacked Enes Kanter and the paint to secure the season-series sweep.

From the scuffles to the intensity of the gameplay, this matchup would make for an extremely entertaining playoff series.

Epilogue: The Explanations

After tonight’s game, the Officials made a statement to pool reporter Kevin Pelton.