----- Jusuf Nurkic is the first NBA player to log 28 plus points, 20 plus rebounds, 8 plus assists and 6 plus blocks in a game since Charles Barkley in November of 1986 as the Blazers down the Sixers in overtime 114-108 on Thursday night.
By halftime, Nurkic Fever had spread throughout the entire arena as Jusuf Nurkic compiled 13 points, 7 rebs, 5 blocks, 5 assists and 1 steal at the break. He tied a career-high in blocks before the end of the first quarter. Nurkic finished the night with a ridiculous 28 points, 20 rebounds, 8 assists, 6 blocks, and 2 steals. The crowd went wild following the game as Nurkic conducted an on-court interview.
The wild sequence in the game came late in the fourth quarter. With :19 seconds remaining and the game tied at 95-95, Robert Covington fouled CJ McCollum as he brought the ball up the court. Covington obviously didn't understand the situation with the game tied and the Sixers without a foul to give. McCollum would make both free throws to give the Blazers a two-point lead at 97-95.
On the Sixers next possession, Al-Farouq Aminu would steal the ball away from Dario Saric only to throw an ill-advised pass out-of-bounds giving the ball back to the Sixers with :11 seconds on the clock. Robert Covington would score on a put-back off a Gerald Henderson miss to force overtime. Damian Lillard finally gave the Blazers some breathing room late in overtime on a sweet driving layup to push the Blazers lead to four at 108-104.
Philadelphia (23-41) got 28 points from Dario Saric, 24 points from Robert Covington, and 16 points and 8 rebounds from Jahlil Okafor.
Portland (28-35) had great balance with five players scoring in double-figures. Aside from Nurkic and his historic night, Lillard scored 24 points, McCollum dropped 23, Maurice Harkless scored 10, and Allen Crabbe added 18 points off the bench.
The win gives Portland their longest winning streak on the year at four games. They will look to push the streak to five games when they host the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.
Chad's Take- This game wasn't pretty as the Blazers struggled to finish of the Sixers, but the real story was Jusuf Nurkic. His game is for real, and it's hard to place a value on what he has done for this franchise in such a short period of time. He has energized his teammates, the fan base, and has given hope to Rip City. The Blazers are now just a half-game back of Denver for the 8th and final playoff spot in the West. The Blazers will need to play better if they hope to extend their winning streak to five-games on Saturday when the Wizards come to town.