Blazers' Jusuf Nurkic out at least two weeks with fractured fibula

"Sometimes, we overact and we throw a big guy out there because we think, "Oh, it matches up better" when Clint's going to do fine". Nurkic is averaging 10.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season, but has increased those averages to 15.2 points and 10.4 boards since joining the Blazers in February. The odds are against them to win a series, but I wouldn't be so quick to count them out.

He held down the fort until the 6:11 mark in the 4th quarter when Harden returned from an extended break on the bench from his sore wrist. The Blazers almost ran away with things in the second quarter but the Beard fought and clawed his way back into the contest.

Spotlight on Kemba Walker: The point guard kept Charlotte's thin playoff hopes alive Thursday with a dagger 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter to lift the Hornets over the Raptors.

"He's had this game circled since he got here", Portland's C.J. McCollum said of his teammate.

The Rockets made a couple of mini-runs in the third quarter, but Lillard and the Blazers had an answer each time.

Houston trailed 96-85 entering the final 12 minutes and tied the score at 105-105 with 2:28 remaining.

The Portland Trail Blazers'magic number to clinch a playoff berth is six.

"They'll be a handful in the playoffs", Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said of the Blazers.

This certainly was a game where the Rockets did not match the Blazers intensity throughout and certainly was a situation where the winning team wanted it a bit more.

A big reason why the Nuggets have exceeded expectations so far this season is because they sport one of the hottest offences in the National Basketball Association this season, and since the All-Star break they have been scorching hot.

No one wants to face Golden State or San Antonio, and the Blazers are likely headed for a first round exit having to play either of those two (SA is 2 games back of GSW for first place). Harden said he is determined to play in every game this season. Ed Davis will miss the rest of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery in early March and free agent signee Festus Ezeli had ankle surgery in March, also ending his season.

  • Julie Sanders