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Suns Center Jusuf Nurkic Continues to Prove Himself

Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic has been solid for the squad.

PHOENIX -- It was a much needed win that featured a much needed performance from the Phoenix Suns' big man.

Jusuf Nurkic arrived with plenty of questions around his play after being acquired via trade with the Portland Trail Blazers. Nurkic was effectively replacing Deandre Ayton, who many in Phoenix had grown tired of with inconsistent play and lack of tenacity down low. 

Nurkic's time with the Suns has largely been positive, but there's still been a few outings where fans weren't exactly pleased with the Bosnian's performance. 

Sunday wasn't quite that. 

Phoenix stopped a two-game losing skid coming out of the All-Star break with a clutch win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, thanks to a monstrous effort from Nurkic that featured 18 points and 22 rebounds. 

“It’s perfect for our big three, when we see a lot of double-teams for Bradley (Beal), KD (Kevin Durant) and Book (Devin Booker) and him making plays in there; he’s finishing at the rim really well, not just making extra passes, but good decisions," Suns coach Frank Vogel said on Nurkic after the win. 

"I think if you look at the hands, the passing and all those positive attributes that he has, I just think the IQ is the most important thing; his ability to read defense and make high IQ plays out of the pocket is really helping us.” 

The Lakers had won the previous three-of-four matchups against Phoenix. 

“He did great guarding AD (Anthony Davis) one-on-one on the block, especially in the first half. AD is another guy who is one of the best offensive rebounders in the league and a tough cover," said Grayson Allen after the game. 

"Nurk (Jusuf Nurkic) coming up with that many defensive rebounds is huge for us. Also offensively, seven offensive rebounds is big. Nurk is really good for our offense when he is at the top as a passer, we got Kev (Kevin Durant) going backdoor, kind of playing the two-man game with Book (Devin Booker), then once we get into our action he is rolling. He is a guy we trust up there to make decisions, he did a great job finishing at the rim today too.”

The Suns are back in action this Thursday against Houston.