The Portland Trail Blazers’ four-game winning streak came to an end on Thursday night after a 111-87 loss to the Indiana Pacers. But aside from absorbing their fifth loss of the season, the Blazers could also miss big man Jusuf Nurkic for some time after he fractured his right wrist during the third quarter.
The injury appeared to have occurred when the 26-year-old Nurkic swiped at the ball and fell to the floor afterward. He was later seen entering the locker room and did not return to the game, finishing with five points, eight rebounds, and two assists in 21 minutes.
After the game, point guard Damian Lillard, who led the Blazers with 22 points in the loss, lamented the possible injury to their starting center and summed up this latest setback.
"It's always something man. Every year." — @Dame_Lillard
— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) January 15, 2021
Lillard is aware of how Nurkic worked his way to return from multiple injuries to be able to play at a high level. The Bosnian Beast played just eight regular season games last season after going down with a broken tibia and fibula in March 2019. But Nurkic made a quick recovery and suited up for the Blazers in the NBA Bubble. He was even a vital cog in their late playoff push and first round series against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Before their game against the Pacers, Jusuf Nurkic was averaging 10.3 points on 50.5% field goal shooting, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists.
The Blazers will look to bounce back from the loss without their ace big man when they face the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.