PORTLAND — After giving it a try for 17 sluggish minutes in Game 3, Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic will return to the inactive list for Portland in Game 4 on Monday night, Terry Stotts told reporters after the Blazers’ Sunday practice.
Nurkic fractured his leg a few weeks back, missed the first two games of this series, tested out his injury pregame on Saturday and attempted to play. But he was relatively ineffective in his minimized minutes and the Blazers apparently don’t want to risk it any further.
“He didn’t do any further damage,” Stotts said. “There was soreness, tenderness and it just wouldn’t be wise to have him play through that.”
Without Nurkic, Noah Vonleh is expected to return to the starting lineup and Myers Leonard, who struggled earlier in the series and didn’t play in Game 3, will return to the rotation.