Portland Trail Blazers forward Justise Winslow came to tonight’s game against the Denver Nuggets on crutches and will be out for an indefinite period of time, according to Blazers Head Coach Chauncey Billups. Winslow rolled his ankle and limped off the court in the third period of Portland’s 101-98 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.
Billups relayed the new in pregame comments with assembled media, including Portland’s Sean Highkin.
The 26-year-old Winslow is averaging 6.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists on 40.9% shooting from the field, 31.1% from the three-point arc over 29 appearances with the Blazers this season. He has become a key defender in Portland’s defensively-impoverished lineup, often playing crucial minutes, including deep into the fourth period in close games. Winslow drew the defensive assignment on Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the final play of the OKC-Portland game on Monday night, with Gilgeous-Alexander red hot and the Blazers needing a stop to force the game into overtime.
With Winslow out, the Blazers will hope for a speedy return for Gary Payton II, whom they signed last summer. Payton II has not played yet this season, as he recovers from off-season surgery.
The Blazers face the Nuggets at 6:00, Pacific tonight, their last game of a six-game road trip and the final contest before Christmas. Portland hosts the Charlotte Hornets at home on Monday the 26th, but that is their only game until facing the Golden State Warriors next Friday night.