Blazers video: Jusuf Nurkic throws down insane jam against the Nets
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Video: Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic throws down insane jam against the Nets

Jusuf Nurkic

Jusuf Nurkic, even in his slimmed-down state, is still a hulk of a man. The Portland Trail Blazers center is listed at seven-feet, 275 pounds, and looks every bit the part of those measurements.

He doesn’t always play like it, however, sometimes opting for finesse over power with the ball in his hands, a tendency that’s frustrated Blazers fans ever since he joined the team midway through the 2017 season. But Nurkic has gotten better at exploiting his size advantage this season, as this towering dunk between several Brooklyn Nets defenders makes abundantly clear.

Jarrett Allen warrants kudos here, by the way. Can you think of another player who’s been the object of more poster dunks? Probably not, but that fact is an indication of his quality as a rim-protector more than anything else. Allen doesn’t back down from anyone at the rim, and the Nets are way better off for it.

Nurkic had his way with Brooklyn on Thursday, though, and not just on this authoritative jam. He had team-highs of 27 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks while shooting 10-of-15 from the field, leading the Blazers to a 113-99 victory over the Nets at Barclays Center.

Portland, 35-23, is now one-and-a-half games up on the Houston Rockets for fourth place in the Western Conference. And if Nurkic keeps playing with the force he did on Thursday, it seems likely the Blazers will hold onto home-court advantage come the first round of the playoffs.