Jusuf Nurkic has been thriving since being traded a month ago, and tonight he was at his absolute best. With five blocked shots in the first quarter against the 76ers, he’d tied his career high for blocks after just twelve minutes of play—and he was just getting started.
The big man didn’t end up just setting a personal best for blocks; he did it for almost everything. Points, assists, rebounds, all of it as he chased a 30-20-10 triple-double and only came up just short. (While he missed out on that accomplishment, he still managed to become the first player since Shaq to put up a line like this.)
Nurkic was perhaps at his best after Philly’s Robert Covington sent the game to overtime with a buzzer-beater. After adding six points to his total in OT, he had the final big play of the game with just under 40 seconds to go and the Blazers up by four. What should have been a key possession for the Sixers turned into a brief Nurkic defensive showcase as he hustled to ruin the inbound and get the Blazers the ball back to finish out the game and seal their victory.
Portland’s clearly suiting him well.