Blazers' Jusuf Nurkic on Joel Embiid: 'He's not about tough'

76ers Trail Blazers Basketball
Joel Embiid, defending a shot by Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, center right, during the first half Thursday night.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic was asked, after Thursday night’s 114-110 victory over the 76ers, how tough it is to play against Joel Embiid.

Nurkic didn’t exactly praise the Sixers center’s dedication to basketball.

“He’s tries to be more famous than a player,” he said of the social media star. “I respect him, though. He’s a good player. He’s not about tough.”

On this night, the fourth-year player from Bosnia finished with 21 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. One of his highlights came after he spun by Embiid on the block and threw down a wide-open dunk. Another came when he blocked an Embiid layup. Nurkic did the finger wave after the block.

“He’s a skilled player, who is getting tired. it looks like,” Nurkic said. “When you are playing defense on him and you play off of him, and you are attacking, he gets tired more.”

Embiid had team highs of 29 points, 9 rebounds and 34 minutes, 52 seconds of playing time. He made a career-high six three-pointers on a career-high 12 attempts.

This marked Embiid’s third game back after missing the previous three with back tightness. He has a history of trolling opposing players on social media. So much so that he once called himself “Tro-el” Embiid.

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