Despite standing nearly seven-feet tall, Jusuf Nurkic has done a remarkable job of staying under the radar. The skilled big man is arguably the biggest reason for the Portland Trail Blazers hanging around the top of the NBA's rugged Western Conference standings and has emerged as a sleeper MVP candidate (At least, in NBA fantasy leagues). What he did on New Year's Day won't hurt his case.
That's because Nurkic did something no one else in NBA history has done: A 20-20 5x5 game.
What's that you ask? Well, the 20-20 part should be self-explanatory (20-plus each of points and rebounds), but the 5x5 is a bit less talked about. Triple-doubles are nice, but these gems requiring a player to pile up at least 5 of 5 different statistical categories are far rarer. Andrei Kirilenko used to be the best at these, but he has passed the crown onto the versatile Nurkic, 24, who accomplished his feat in a 113-108 win against Sacramento on Tuesday night. Check out this incredible stat line:
24 points, 23 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals, and 5 blocks. Absurd.
And here are the highlights:
Somewhere (in Russia), AK-47 is smiling.