The Nuggets lost to the Clippers 96-85 in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night in Orlando, but it’s what happened after the game that quickly became the bigger story.
Denver rookie Michael Porter Jr. scored 15 points in the first half on 5-for-6 shooting, he finished the game with 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting. After the game he was asked what he needed to do in the second half to get more involved and here was his response:
“I just didn’t touch the ball. They didn’t do anything differently. … That is up to the playcalling, the coaches and whose hands they want to put the ball in. We kept going to (Nikola Jokić) and (Jamal Murray) and they are two amazing players, but I just think to beat them we need to get more players involved. We have to move the ball a little bit better. We can’t be predictable against that team.”
It didn’t stop there though as Porter went on to say he’s going to talk to the coaches about the plan going forward.
“I think if I am going to be out there on the floor playing a lot of minutes, I think I should voice that. I will probably talk to the coaches and tell them what I see being out there on the floor just letting them know, look, they know what we are doing. We have to swing the ball. We have a lot of players that can play basketball and score, so we have to get some more guys involved.”Porter said.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard voiced his displeasure on Twitter with what Porter said after the game in a series of tweets, including this one, talking about whether Porter’s assessment was correct, just handled poorly:
Clippers stifle Denver offense
As for the actual game, Denver was thoroughly shut down as L.A.’s Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley held Murray to 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting, along with seven assists and four turnovers.
Jokić still had a solid game for the Nuggets, finishing with 26 points and 11 rebounds. But it was no match for Leonard who nearly had a triple double with 30 points, 11 boards and nine assists.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone didn’t mince words either after the game, saying:
“We have to be a hell of a lot better on offense. I have to help our guys more. They’re just dogging and hounding Jamal Murray everywhere. It’s been really hard to get him open for quality looks. … We worked so hard for everything we tried to get, and obviously we’re struggling to make shots right now”
Another comeback in store?
The Nuggets once again are trailing 3-1 in a best-of-seven series, but this Clippers team is on a completely different level than that of the Utah Jazz who the Nuggets rallied to beat in seven games.
Obviously anything is possible, but at this point if the Nuggets can manage to eek out a win in Game 5 and force a Game 6 before bowing out of this year’s NBA playoffs that appears to be the most positive outcome remaining.
Nuggets-Clippers Game 4 highlights
Nuggets-Clippers results and schedule
|Game 1||Clippers 120, Nuggets 97||Box score|
|Game 2||Nuggets 110, Clippers 101||Box score|
|Game 3||Clippers 113, Nuggets 107||Box score|
|Game 4||Clippers 96, Nuggets 85||Box score|
|Game 5||Nuggets 111, Clippers 105||Box score|
|Game 6||Nuggets 111, Clippers 98||Box score|
|Game 7||Nuggets 104, Clippers 89||Box score|
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