Michael Porter Jr. helped carry the Denver Nuggets offense on Monday.
The Denver Nuggets are still missing key players like Jamal Murray and Gary Harris in this NBA restart, but at the very least, one of their future franchise cornerstones in Michael Porter Jr. is looking good.
In an overtime 121-113 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday evening, the Nuggets rookie ignited for a career-high 37 points, far surpassing his previous career best of 25 points. Shooting 12-for-16 from the floor, 4-for-6 from 3-point range and a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line, MPJ was an absolute flamethrower in every facet of the game.
Porter also notched a double-double with 12 rebounds, chipped in one block and one steal and had nearly matched his career high by halftime. Nikola Jokic was terrific as well, finishing with a 30-point, 12-rebound, 10-assist triple-double.
Michael Porter Jr. was a driving force in the Nuggets’ OT win
In the Nuggets’ first seeding game against the Miami Heat, MPJ only had 11 points and three rebounds, shooting a pedestrian 4-of-11 from the floor and 2-for-8 from long range. That game was a blowout, however, and the Nuggets came out with a much more competitive effort against a very good Thunder squad on Monday.
Porter receiving ample minutes was a welcome sight for Nuggets fans who have been frustrated with his scant playing time throughout the year, and it was even better to see all these points come within the flow of the game. It appears head coach Michael Malone was ready to take the training wheels off with such a shorthanded squad in need of offense, and Porter rewarded that faith with the best game of his career thus far.
Though Porter has created waves off the court for his ignorant and dangerous comments about the coronavirus, there’s no denying the future is very bright for him on the court. Hopefully these extended minutes (he played 43 minutes on Monday) continue once Murray and Harris return to action soon.