Portland Trail Blazers

Canadian moment of the week: Nik Stauskas' 40-foot buzzer-beater against the Knicks

Nik Stauskas beats the first-quarter buzzer (NBA Getty Images)

Madison Square Garden is often referred to as "The Mecca of Basketball" because it is a hoops marvel in which players can make a name for themselves with legendary performances and moments.

The Canadian Moment of Week 6 came when Portland Trail Blazers guard Nik Stauskas earned the approval of the 19,000-plus fans in attendance at MSG by beating the first-quarter buzzer with a seemingly effortless 40-foot runner.

With 2.6 seconds remaining in the quarter, Stauskas was the beneficiary of a designed play in which he got a running start to receive the inbounds pass with his momentum moving forward. From there, Evan Turner set a screen on Stauskas' defender before he reached half court, freeing the Mississauga native for a moment before Tim Hardaway Jr. switched with a soft contest to avoid picking up an ill-advised foul.

The space Stauskas received from the screen proved to be all he needed, as he was able to get off a clean look the moment he crossed half court, letting the ball go with just tenths of a second remaining on the clock.

The 3-pointer proved to be critical - it cut a five-point deficit to two in what ended up being a four-point road win for the Blazers. It was the first of two 3-pointers on the night for Stauskas, who finished with nine points and three assists in under 18 minutes of action.

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The change of scenery has proven to be beneficial for Stauskas, who signed with Portland in the 2018 offseason. Through 20 games, Stauskas has made two or more made 3-pointers on six occasions - he did so just eight times over 41 games in the 2017-18 season. The 25-year-old is averaging 6.9 points per game and shooting 38.1 percent from deep while playing just over 17 minutes per contest.

Despite their current three-game skid, the Blazers are just 1.5 games out of the Western Conference's No. 1 seed. If Portland can keep the pace, Stauskas would see the first postseason action of his five-year career.

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