Last night was one for the Nuggets’ history books as Michael Porter Jr put on a stellar performance hitting 11-of-12 from the field in an explosive tirade.
This season’s most talked-about NBA bench player showed why he’s at the centre of almost every Nuggets’-related conversation lately. Denver trailed by as many as 12 points against the Indiana Pacers, but Porter acted as a much-needed catalyst to lead the 124-116 victory.
The 21-year-old forward hit every two-point attempt he put up and proved himself as a viable player to keep in the rotation going forward. His jump shot was on point and he even managed to make a fool of one of the league’s best rim-protectors, Myles Turner, on more than one occasion.
The Pacers just couldn’t keep pace against the No. 14 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft as he fought for every single minute he was awarded. Porter sealed the deal with a stepback jumper from behind the three, after backing down Indiana centre Goga Bitadze, which brought the Nuggets back on top.
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Once the team celebrations had subsided, you would expect the event to blow over as an isolated incident, one of those one-off occurrences, but how could it when Porter broke a career-high he set only four days prior. Sunday’s game against the Sacramento Kings brought 19 points for him and signals a trend for matches to come.
Jamal Murray hit 22 points for the Nuggets, shooting 44% from the field and adding five rebounds and a team-high seven assists. Nikola Jokic struggled with foul trouble and was outshined by Porter despite finishing with 22 points, 12 in the fourth quarter, and seven rebounds.
Jeremy Lamb powered Indiana’s offence with 30 points, a career-high, and six rebounds, shooting 69.2% from the field and 100% from beyond the arc. However, the Pacers suffered in the second half as the Nuggets outscored them in both the third and fourth quarters.
Denver’s win on the road improves their record to 24-10 whilst the Pacers slip to 22-13.