Michael Porter Jr. shoots Nuggets past Kelly Olynyk, short-handed Rockets

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Ben DuBose
·2 min read
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Michael Porter Jr. scored a career-high 39 points on 8-of-12 shooting from 3-point range (66.7%) as the Nuggets routed the undermanned Houston Rockets on Saturday night in Denver, 129-116 (box score). MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic added 24 points and 12 assists.

Forwards Kelly Olynyk (21 points, 11 assists), D.J. Wilson (25 points) and Anthony Lamb (21 points) all broke the 20-point mark for the Rockets. For Wilson and Lamb, those scoring totals were career-highs.

With Saturday’s result, the Nuggets (39-21) held their position at No. 4 in the Western Conference, while the Rockets (15-46) retain the NBA’s worst record. In addition to the clear talent mismatch, Houston was dealing with a range of injury and fatigue issues after playing Friday at home in a surprisingly close game versus the Los Angeles Clippers.

As expected, the Rockets were severely short-handed in the aftermath, with Christian Wood (right ankle), John Wall (maintenance), Kevin Porter Jr. (health and safety protocols), DJ Augustin (left ankle), Sterling Brown (left knee), Dante Exum (right calf), Eric Gordon (right groin), David Nwaba (right wrist), Danuel House Jr. (right ankle), and Avery Bradley (illness) all unavailable. In total, Houston had a much longer list of injured players (10) than of available options (seven).

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See below for a roundup of Saturday’s highlights and postgame reaction. Houston returns to action on Tuesday at home versus Minnesota. Wall and Porter should both return by then, but the status of the others is unclear. Tipoff is set for 8:00 p.m. Central from Toyota Center.

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