Jusuf Nurkic announced on Saturday that his grandmother died.
Less than two hours later, he played one of the best games of his career to help the Portland Trail Blazers secure a playoff spot.
Nurkic’s grandmother died of COVID-19
Nurkic told reporters on July 31 that his grandmother was in a coma with COVID-19. He announced her death on Instagram early Saturday.
Per Google translate, Nurkic’s Croatian message reads: “We are all Allah’s and to Him we return.”
Nurkic plays big with heavy heart
Nurkic announced the news just hours before Portland’s play-in game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Portland won, 126-122 to secure a berth in the NBA playoffs.
Nurkic tallied a massive line in the high-stakes victory, posting 22 points, 21 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks. The Trail Blazers held a moment of silence for Nurkic’s grandmother prior to tip. Head coach Terry Stotts called