Nurkic leads Blazers past Nets
The Trail Blazers began a seven-game road stretch and the post NBA All-Star Game drive to the playoffs with a 113-99 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Jusuf Nurkic led the way with his career high-tyhing 27th double-double of the season, posting a season high-tying 27 points and 12 rebounds, both game highs.
Enes Kanter, newly signed center, made his Blazers debut and was key as well. He played 19 minutes off the bench as Nurkic's backup, going 8 of 9 from the field and finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds.
CJ McCollum added 21points for Portland at Barclays Center.
Damian Lillard, listed as questionable before the game because of a left ankle sprain, was one of three other Blazers to score in double figures. He was just 5 of 21 from the field and 2 for 9 from behind the 3-point line, however, in getting 13 points.
Starting forwards Moe Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu chipped in with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Former Blazers pitched in for the Nets as reserves. Guard Allen Crabbe scored a team-high 17 points in 29 minutes as a sub, and forward Ed Davis had 15 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes. Another ex-Blazer guard, Shabazz Napier, tallied 7 points but as 1 of 8 from 3-point distance in 21 minutes.
Portland improved to 35-23.
Brooklyn fell to 30-30.
The Blazers shot 33.3 percent from the field and led 23-21 after one quarter. Harkless had Portland's only 3-point basket in the period, as the visitors went 1 of 5 from beyond the arc. Brooklyn was 1 of 8 and hit 36.0 percent from the floor.
At the half, the teams were even at 505-0, with Nurkic at 11 points, McCollum at 10 and Lillard with four.
The third quarter was a good one for Portland, which ended it in front 84-72.
The Nets made a run, though, and got to within one point before the midway point of the final frame.
But the Blazers regrouped and all but pulled away down the stretch.
Next for the Blazers is Saturday's 10 a.m. PT game at Philadelphia.