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Jusuf Nurkic’s Surprise Appearance Inspires Blazers’ Game 5 Win

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Nurkic made a mid-game trek to the Moda Center from his house to give Portland a boost.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers were treated to a surprise appearance by injured big man Jusuf Nurkic during their Game 5 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Nurkic decided to trek from his house to the Moda Center during the third quarter because he thought the team could use a little extra boost down the stretch. With under four minutes left in the fourth quarter, he appeared on the bench, igniting cheers from the crowd and motivating his teammates on the floor.

The Blazers closed on a 13-2 run, capped off by Damian Lillard’s historic 37-foot buzzer-beater to send the Thunder home.

Terry Stotts appreciated Nurkic’s impact and explained how the big man’s arrival surprised everyone, even joking about Nurkic’s plus-minus on the night.

Nurkic couldn’t join in on the heated back-and-forth between Portland and Oklahoma City during the playoff series. However, his shirt choice for his arrival at the Moda Center threw one final jab at Russell Westbrook.

And Nurkic was able to celebrate with his teammates in the locker room after assisting with the win.