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Nuggets’ Porter expected to miss 10th straight game

January 18, 2021 GMT
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Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., right, drives as Houston Rockets guard James Harden defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., right, drives as Houston Rockets guard James Harden defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — The struggling Denver Nuggets are expected to be without Michael Porter Jr. for a 10th straight game Tuesday night against Oklahoma City because of coronavirus protocols.

Coach Michael Malone said after practice Monday that Porter could join the team on their five-game trip that begins Friday in Phoenix.

The Nuggets (6-7) can certainly use a lift from Porter. He’s averaging 19.5 points and 6.8 rebounds over four games.

“Of course, we miss Michael,” Malone said. “He’s a big part of what we’re trying to do here. When we do get him back, he will be a welcomed sight.”

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Porter’s last game was at Sacramento on Dec. 29, when he had 30 points and 10 rebounds.

The 22-year-old Porter was taken by Denver with the 14th pick in 2018. He sat the 2018-19 season because of a back injury.

He played a big role in Denver advancing to the Western Conference finals last season inside the NBA bubble.

This season, the Nuggets have gotten off to a slow start despite big man Nikola Jokic averaging a triple-double and point guard Jamal Murray turning in big performances even with a sore elbow.

Malone said there will be an adjustment when Porter returns, but his presence will help solidify the rotation.

“You always want to be whole as a team,” Malone said. “Not only are you whole, but you have a really talented player who’s a big part of your current team and also your future as an organization. ”

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