Portland Trail Blazers beat Brooklyn Nets to activate play-in tournament

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Portland Trail Blazers are now in the NBA’s first-ever play-in tournament after a thrilling win over the Brooklyn Nets.

The Portland Trail Blazers are now through to the NBA’s first-ever play-in tournament. In one of the most thrilling ends to a Blazers’ regular season, they clinched a spot in the tournament on the final possession of a wild game. Final score 134 – 133.

In so many ways, this was a team win. Damian Lillard was huge with again with 42 points, but up and down the roster, there were massive contributions and clutch moments.

This game went back and forth all night, and credit should be given to a gutsy Brooklyn Nets team who, without a lot of their best players for the whole last few weeks of the bubble, took this game all the way to the final possession. This game didn’t matter for the Nets in the standings, but they clearly wanted to win anyway, so props to them.

Caris LeVert was huge for them in this game with 37 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists on 55 percent shooting. He made shot after shot down the stretch and almost got his team home.

The Blazers had massive performances from centers Hassan Whiteside and Jusuf Nurkic. Whiteside with a big stretch in the second half and then finishing with 16 points and 9 rebounds.

Nurkic had 22 points and 10 huge rebounds. He had a massive fourth quarter where he played huge defense around the rim and dived on the floor to secure loose balls.

CJ McCollum also had a huge game. He took on the defensive assignment of LeVert at the end of the game, forcing a couple of misses and getting the stop to complete the win. He had 25 points and 7 assists—all with a fractured vertebra. A heroic effort considering.

But Dame was huge and put the team on his back again. 42 points and 12 assists. His three from the logo, when they were down by seven, was huge. Then he had the massive steal in the last minute of the game where he tracked back and stole the ball, diving on the floor to secure possession. He was massive in this game and just would not let the Blazers lose.

He has undoubtedly been the best player in the NBA Bubble. The Blazers still need to win the play-in tournament against the Memphis Grizzlies to advance to the NBA playoffs, but for tonight they can put their feet up and celebrate a massive run in these seeding games.

It has been a tough season, but they advance one step closer to their goal of reaching the post-season.

Portland Trail Blazers: Put some respect on Damian Lillard’s name. dark. Next