----- Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter combine to score 45 points as the Portland Trail Blazers drop the Brooklyn Nets 113-99 Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Enes Kanter's debut couldn't have gone any better for the Blazers. In his first game, Kanter scored 18 points and pulled down 9 boards while hitting his first seven shots from the field.
“He basically played the way we expected him to,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “He’s a very effective post player, very effective in the paint, he set great screens in pick-and-rolls. I don’t know if you could have asked for a better first game from him.”
For Kanter, he is relishing the opportunity to play for a contender coming over from the New York Knicks, “The last time I got a win, I think it was two months,” he said. “First, it was amazing, man. I didn’t know any sets. We just went over them yesterday and it was like smoke coming out of my ears. I didn’t know any of them.
“But when you play with guys like Dame and CJ, they make the game so easy for themselves and for everybody else around them. That’s what made it so special. “Winning is fun again. I hope it keeps getting better and better.”
Jusuf Nurkic led the Blazers by tying a season-high with 27 points while pulling down 12 rebounds on 10-of-15 shooting. Al-farouq Aminu and Maurice Harkless combined for 24 points and 18 rebounds and CJ McCollum scored 21 on 9-for-19 shooting.
Damian Lillard struggled on the night with just 13 points on 5-for-21 shooting.
Portland (35-23) closed the game on a 23-10 run after Brooklyn cut their lead to one at 90-89 with 7:25 to play.
Up Next- The Trail Blazers continue their road trip Saturday morning in Philadelphia against the 76ers. The game is scheduled to tip off at 10:00 AM.
Chad's take- Neil Olshey's moves paying immediate dividends with a dominating performance by Enes Kanter in his Trail Blazers debut. The Blazers now boast one of the best rotations in the NBA.