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Porter’s 37 points lead Nuggets to OT win

Arenado homer fuels Rockies’ rally | Broncos’ RT James opts out | Avs rest up before next game on Wednesday | Rams step up COVID testing

Nuggets

Michael Porter Jr. turned in the biggest performance of his young career as the Nuggets topped Oklahoma City 121-113 in overtime Monday afternoon in Orlando.

Porter finished the game with career highs in both points (37) and minutes (43) to go along with 10 rebounds. One of the most impressive aspects of Porter’s scoring was that he did it on just 16 shots (12-for-16), thanks to going 9-for-9 from the free-throw line.

Not to be overlooked was Nikola Jokic’s first triple-double in the bubble. Jokic finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

Denver was once again short-handed as regular starters Jamal Murray (hamstring), Will Barton (knee) and Gary Harris (hip) all did not play.

“This is a big opportunity for me. We can’t wait for Will and Gary and Jamal to come back. For me to be in this starting position, I worked really hard so this is a good opportunity for me to show what I can do. Obviously, I’m going to be getting a lot of minutes right now, so it’s a great opportunity for me and I need to take advantage of it every night and not have off nights in terms of effort.”

Porter told TheAthletic.com after the Nuggets’ win

Rockies

Nolan Arenado broke out of an early-season slump with his first homer of the season and helped the Rockies rally past the Giants 7-6 on Monday night at Coors Field.

Going into the game Arenado was hitting .226, but a two-run homer off San Francisco starter Johnny Cueto in the sixth inning sparked Colorado’s rally. The Giants led 4-1 at the start of the inning, but were trailing 6-4 by inning’s end.

The ninth inning wasn’t without drama as Jairo Díaz picked up the save, but not after allowing two runs and stranding the tying runner at third base.

In his pregame press conference manager Bud Black thought Arenado was close to breaking out of his mini-slump.

“It’s just a matter of time. I told Nolan just moments ago that there are a lot of pitchers that are going to have to pay for this. And it could happen as early as tonight.”

Black before Monday night’s Rockies’ game vs. the Giants
  • At 7-2 the Rockies are tied for their best start in franchise history. Four times previously they’ve won seven of their first nine games, most recently in 2015.
  • The Rockies and Giants face off against tonight (6:40 p.m., AT&T SportsNet, 850 AM) with Germán Márquez looking to pick up his second win of the season for Colorado.
    The division rivals play again Wednesday (6:40 p.m.) and Thursday (1:10 p.m.) before the Rockies head to Seattle to take on the Mariners starting Friday.
  • TheAthletic.com’s Jim Bowden wrote about what to believe and what not to believe after roughly 10 games into the MLB season. Rockies’ fans will be disappointed to know Colorado made the list of what not to believe.
    It wouldn’t be too bad, if he just said the Dodgers will pass them in the NL West at some point (which he said). But he goes on to predict both the Padres and Diamondbacks might as well.
    My thoughts: I never like when writers and broadcasters ignore the results on the field. The Dodgers are obviously loaded and win the West almost every year, so I’m fine with that part of the article. But the Rockies literally just won a series against San Diego where they were one out away from sweeping the Padres. Do I think the Rockies are going to go 46-14, their current pace, this season? Of course not. But based on what they’ve done so far there’s no reason to think they can’t seriously contend.
  • In more positive national Rockies news, ESPN.com’s Dan Mullen predicts the Rockies will host a first-round playoff series and Trevor Story will win the 2020 NL MVP award.

Broncos

The Broncos’ plans heading into Training Camp were dealt a major blow as right tackle Ja’Wuan James announced he was opting out of the 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns.

The only good news for Denver is that Elijah Wilkinson was removed from the physically unable to perform list yesterday. If the season started today (which it does not) Wilkinson most likely would be the Broncos starting right tackle.

Among the reasons for deciding to opt out, James cited the recent birth of his son (born May 22) and a family member who was hospitalized because of COVID-19.

“To the Denver community: These first two years weren’t what I expected them to be when arriving here. I know you don’t know me well (and) a false narrative was painted of me last year due to comments made about my injury, but I am invested in this city and my team.”

Part of James’ statement about opting out this season.

James’ contract simply will push back one year, meaning he will count $13 million, $14, and $16 million against the salary cap from 2021-23.

Avalanche

A day after their dramatic win over St. Louis the Avs had an off-day in Edmonton. Unfortunately a day off while in the NHL bubble means there’s not a lot to do.

Colorado will practice on Tuesday before its next round-robin game Wednesday vs. Dallas (4:30 p.m., Altitude, 92.5 FM). Backup goalie Pavel Francouz is expected to get the start over Philipp Grubauer who started on Sunday.

  • While Altitude still is not available for Comcast and Dish Network subscribers, that didn’t keep the Avs’ game against St. Louis off the air on Comcast on Sunday. The Denver Post wrote about how Comcast violated blackout rules and aired the game on its NHL Center Ice platform, while the game also was shown on the NBC Sports app, which should have been blacked out as well.
    My thoughts: I’m fortunate enough to have DirecTV, so have been able to see Avs and Nuggets games most of this season, but what a joke that these companies haven’t been able to get things figured out at this point. Both the Avs and Nuggets have young, exciting teams and to think that most people in Colorado can’t watch them during these restarts is just ridiculous.

CSU Rams

The Denver Post reported that Colorado State conducted 150 COVID-19 test on Monday in an attempt to determine how widespread the outbreak within the organization is. It also will help determine when the football team can return to training, after being shutdown last Wednesday due to positive test results.

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