National Basketball Association
Preview
Washington at Portland
When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 11, 2017
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

The Portland Trail Blazers are usually Damian Lillard's squad but a recent four-game winning streak has been fueled by the presence of newcomer Jusuf Nurkic. The 7-foot center aims to follow up the best game of his career when the Trail Blazers host the streaking Washington Wizards on Saturday.

Nurkic recently was acquired from the Denver Nuggets and already had emerged as a fan favorite even before he established career bests of 28 points, 20 rebounds, eight assists and six blocked shots in Thursday's 114-108 overtime victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. "I'm going to stay on the ground because I know what I capable (of)," Nurkic said after his stellar showing. "Like I said when I was coming here, I don't like to talk about myself, I want to show on the court. All my life it was prove them wrong and I'm not worried about that." Washington is 3-0 on a five-game road trip and posted a 130-122 overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday to move into second place in the Eastern Conference — 2 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Wizards, who overcame a 15-point, fourth-quarter deficit against the Kings, are 24-6 over the past two-plus months and have won 10 of their last 12 road games.

TV:
10 p.m. ET, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington), CSN Northwest (Portland)

ABOUT THE WIZARDS (40-24): Standout shooting guard Bradley Beal scored 38 points against Sacramento for his ninth straight 20-point outing and he is averaging 28.6 points during the stretch. All-Star point guard John Wall recorded 25 points and 12 assists against the Kings for his 17th double-double in the last 18 contests. The backcourt duo is igniting an offense that is averaging 124.8 points during a four-game winning streak, and that is overriding defensive deficiencies that have seen Washington allow 119 per game during the stretch.

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (28-35): Nurkic is averaging 16.5 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots in eight games since being acquired from Denver and he is giving Portland the strong interior play it was lacking most of the season. Ironically, his emergence has helped the Trail Blazers pull within one game of the eighth-place Nuggets for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. "We're winning games we're supposed to win, playing at home and taking advantage of that," shooting guard CJ McCollum told reporters. "Favorable travel schedule with a game getting cancelled (at Minnesota), so just got to continue to try to win as many games as we can. Obviously the eight seed is available; it's there for the taking."

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Trail Blazers have won nine of the past 11 home games against the Wizards.

2. Beal scored 25 points and Wall added 24 when Washington posted a 120-101 home win over Portland on Jan. 16.

3. Lillard missed all six 3-point shots against Philadelphia to end a streak of 42 games of making at least one.

PREDICTION: Wizards 126, Trail Blazers 122
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Washington 40-24 W4 26-9 14-15 5-1 35-23 6-5 25-16
Portland 28-35 W4 17-13 11-22 3-2 25-33 7-3 18-20
Last Meeting
Washington Portland
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/16/17 POR 101 WAS 120 120 51 48.8 101 45 42.0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Washington B. Beal 25 63.6 8
Portland D. Lillard 22 35.3 6
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Washington M. Morris 13 0 13
Portland N. Vonleh 8 2 6
Assists Player  
Washington J. Wall 7
Portland A. Crabbe 5
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Washington B. Beal 1464 48.2 232
Portland D. Lillard 1638 44.0 399
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Washington M. Gortat 744 208 536
Portland A. Aminu 347 60 287
Assists Player  
Washington J. Wall 694
Portland D. Lillard 368
Quickchart Matchup
Washington Washington Off vs  Portland Portland Defense
Washington Off vs Portland - Points For 108.9 Points For
Washington Off vs Portland - Points Against 110.4 Points Against
Washington - FG% 47.5 FG%
Portland - FG% 45.5 FG%
Washington - Reb 43.0 Reb
Portland - Reb 44.3 Reb
Portland Portland Off vs  Washington Washington Defense
Portland Off vs Washington - Points For 108.3 Points For
Portland Off vs Washington - Points Against 106.3 Points Against
Portland - FG% 45.9 FG%
Washington - FG% 46.0 FG%
Portland - Reb 43.4 Reb
Washington - Reb 43.1 Reb