A night to remember for Nassir Little

Jamie Hudson
NBC Sports Northwest

Trial Blazer rookie forward Nassir Little made his NBA debut on the same night that Damian Lillard set a franchise scoring record. 

Little will remember this night forever. 

"It felt good. I hadn't played in a little while five-on-five, so I felt a step slow, but for the most part it was fun," Little said after the game.

It would've been an even better memory to carry with him had the Blazers beat the Nets.

But Lillard's 60-point performance ultimately wasn't enough to get the job done on Friday night.

Fans weren't just treated to Lillard's spectacular offensive night, they also got a glimpse of what could be a nice piece to the Blazers' future.

Little showed off his length and his versatility on the defensive end. It's obvious that he is willing to sacrifice his body falling to the floor while battling for a rebound or fighting for the loose ball.

And, that's just what he likes to do.  

"For me, I just try to bring energy, rebound the ball, I had a lot of offensive rebounds, and just making plays, trying to get my team extra possessions and I think that's going to be key for me and the team," Little said.

"I enjoy it" Little said with a smile when asked if he likes doing the dirty work. "It's taking pride in that, and just trying to do whatever I can to do the little small stuff to help the team."

The Blazer rookie had fans on their feet after he drove to the hoop and threw down a dunk that shook the backboard early in the fourth quarter.

"I just did a little head fake and then I attacked the rim hard because nobody was guarding me… I'm confident in my athleticism, so I took off. Once I jumped it was over for whoever was trying to make a play," Little said. 

That ‘whoever' was Nets rookie forward Nicolas Claxton, who also was making his NBA debut.

In Little's 19 minutes of work, he went 3-of-5 from the field, while also hitting both of his free throw attempts. He finished with eight points and three rebounds.

Lillard was proud of Little's effort and his ability to stay ready.

"I thought he was great," Lillard said. "Any time you are a guy that is not playing regular minutes or just a young player where you don't have any experience, you haven't been in the league or you've just been on the bench and games are going by and your name is not getting called – so for him to just be ready and come in fearless and have an impact on the game, because he had a huge impact on the game – that's special."

Lillard also enjoyed Little's ability to be a spark plug off the bench:

"Being called late in the game or random moments of the game, he comes in with energy flying around, effort, and fearless like I said. So, I thought he was great. I was proud of what he did tonight."  

Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers podcast below:

A night to remember for Nassir Little originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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