Sports

Lillard leads streaking Blazers to win over Rockets

An MRI revealed Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic has a non-displaced right leg fibular fracture and he will be sidelined for at least two weeks. The center will be re-evaluated after 2 weeks. "Nurkic has helped them, obviously", Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said.

In 20 games since joining Portland, Nurkic is averaging 15.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.25 assists in 29.2 minutes.

Nurkic spoke to the crowd after the game, even taking a shot at his former team.

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Nurkic dunked off a low-post move to put Portland on top 107-105 with 2:05 left, and the Blazers led the rest of the way. Today's host had eight wins in last ten play with the four-game winning streak.

There have been advocates for Portland to tank, just as well as there have been those fans who had hoped Portland would make the playoffs. It gave the Blazers sole control of eighth place and all major tiebreakers over the Nuggets. Portland plays six of its eight games at home, with four coming against teams now in the playoff field. Last year, he played only 32 games after suffering from a partially torn left patellar tendon. Denver has 6 games on road during that same span, 3 of which being against playoff teams. "It's frustrating that we weren't playing this brand of basketball months ago, but I feel like it couldn't have come at a greater time". And so Trailblazers won, 122-113, not just breaking their 35-38 tie with Nuggets, but sending a huge message that a piece they let go of is a gem they have wasted. They've got a tough schedule just like us.

Portland's supporting cast, particularly Crabbe, Al-Farouq Aminu and Maurice Harkless, were crucial in creating the lead, helping them survive a 4-of-15 night from CJ McCollum.

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I look at the way the Phoenix Suns celebrated Devin Booker's 70 point game this past week and that is exactly the losing environment that you don't want to see in Portland.

However, the real eye-popping stats have not been Nurkic's individual numbers, but how the team has fared with him in their starting lineup. That said, it's unusual that this injury is popping up now, because Nurkic has looked perfectly healthy the last few games.

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