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Blazers’ Enes Kanter crashes into woman sitting near the court

Enes Kanter, Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers played the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night in Portland. The game marked a collision between the present and past basketball worlds of Enes Kanter. It also marked a collision of a different kind.

Kanter had played for the Thunder, but this time he stood on the other side of the divide as a member of the Trail Blazers. These two teams are part of the fierce six-team battle for playoff seeding in the Western Conference, so it stood to reason that Kanter and the Thunder would go all-out in this contest.

Not all NBA games are created equal. Some installments of the long 82-game schedule are games in which teams just try to get through the night. This did not figure to be one such example.

It wasn’t.

Enes Kanter proved why in this clip:

The Blazers and Thunder began Thursday night tied with the Houston Rockets for third in the Western Conference at 39-25. Portland and OKC, along with Houston, are vying for both home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and the No. 3 seed in the West, which is likely to offer the added value of avoiding the Golden State Warriors until the Western Conference Finals. This is not a guaranteed reality, since the Denver Nuggets could still overtake the Warriors for the No. 1 seed, but most people — if they had to bet — would say the Warriors will be the top seed.

Therefore, getting the No. 3 seed matters. The extent to which the Blazers and Thunder competed on Thursday — reflected in that play by Enes Kanter, in a game which went down to the wire — offered a clear visual representation of how much these teams want that No. 3 seed.