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.
NIK!!!! Stauskas calls glass for the first quarter buzzer beater STREAM: https://t.co/XdLRBENPFZ #ripcity pic.twitter.com/CMCcOUgIoG- NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) November 21, 2018
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.
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.