WATCH: Trail Blazers’ Star Center Receives Game Ball For Showing Character After Tragic Incident

Published 08/16/2020, 10:54 AM EDT

It was a big night yesterday for the Portland Trail Blazers as they clinched a berth in NBA playoffs over Memphis Grizzlies. Just few hours into Blazers’ center, Jusuf Nurkic’s grandmother’s death, he was seen on the court dominating a crucial game. The contest, which wasn’t an easy affair for Damian Lillard and Co., it turned out to be a tug of war between the two teams.

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After a long time, Blazers’ win wasn’t a Damian Lillard show, rather a complete performance from the roster. Lillard added significant 32 points and 10 assists to the team’s victory. But Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum exhibited dominance in the game.

While Blazers were with a lead of 12 after the first quarter of the match, the rest of the game wasn’t that effortless. Memphis Grizzlies showed tough resistance in the game with exemplary plays from Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke. The two rookies bagged 35 and 20 points respectively to make it a neck-to-neck contest.

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It was only towards the end, CJ McCollum added the spice towards the last quarter of the game. And Carmelo Anthony slicked in a three-pointer, considered the winning shot of Blazers’ 126-122 victory.

Trail Blazers celebrate in the locker room after a crucial victory

After Nurkic’s unfortunate loss, he was out there and recorded 22 points, 21 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in 41 minutes. He was proving something there on the court while struggling through painful emotions on the inside.

Blazers’ locker room turned into a happy place post the match. Team coach, Terry Stotts had immense to say for his well-fought army.

“What you guys showed over these two weeks, I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys. I mean honestly, what you did, we were up against it every f***ing game. And you guys brought it, hung together and found a way. And you should really be proud of what you’ve done.” 

Nurkic was offered the game ball by Terry post this and so the celebration began. He again tweeted after the match with a message saying, “We did it Grandma.”

The Blazers have earned it and are ready to start their playoff journey against LeBron James‘ Lakers in their first round.

 

 

 

 

 

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Pavni Ahuja

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