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Porter calls out coaches, teammates after Nuggets’ 96-85 loss Wednesday

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

GameResult
Game 1Clippers 120, Nuggets 97Box score
Game 2Nuggets 110, Clippers 101Box score
Game 3Clippers 113, Nuggets 107Box score
Game 4Clippers 96, Nuggets 85Box score
Game 5Nuggets 111, Clippers 105Box score
Game 6Nuggets 111, Clippers 98Box score
Game 7Nuggets 104, Clippers 89Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series 4-3

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Nuggets Uncategorized

Nuggets no match for Clippers in Game 1

The Nuggets and Clippers were tied after the first quarter in Thursday night’s opening game of the Western Conference semifinals, from that point on L.A. outscored Denver by 23 and rolled to an easy 120-97 win.

Nuggets center Nikola Jokić struggled on both ends of the floor in the loss as he finished with just 15 points, three rebounds and three assists. While first-round series star Jamal Murray shot 5-for-15 from the field and ended with 12 points, six assist and three boards.

You can say whatever, it’s gonna be true. It was a bad, bad night for us. But we can change, we can be better.”

Jokić said after the loss.

Clippers at full strength

As for the Clippers, Los Angeles head coach Doc Rivers had his entire roster intact for just the 13th time the season and the first since arriving to the NBA bubble.

Guard Patrick Beverley returned after missing the final five games of L.A.’s first-round series against Dallas. Marcus Morris was no longer having to try and keep up with Dallas’ Luka Dončić and stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were in a rhythm early.

“I thought we just locked into our assignments. To be honest, that’s the best we’ve done so far against an opponent. Our attention to detail was great and we followed the game plan … It just took us to lock in tonight and come here and do what we needed to do. There’s no sugar-coating answer or no headline answer. We just locked into what we needed to do, And that was enough for us to play with energy and effort. We just knew what our job was tonight and we executed it.”

George said after the Clippers win in Game 1.

Nuggets fell into L.A.’s trap

According to Nuggets forward Paul Millsap Denver was unable to adjust to the Clippers pressure defense.

“They get up in you, they take you out of the flow of your offense, and they make you take one-on-one or contested shots and we fell right into their trap.”

Millsap said.

Meanwhile, Nuggets coach Michael Malone was much more concerned with the Nuggets inability to guard on the defensive end and for teammates to help out when needed.

“Can we contain one-on-one, and can we guard the paint?. A guy gets beat, where’s our help?”

Malone said.

Nuggets-Clippers Game 1 highlights

Tip-ins

As TheAthletic.com’s Kendra Andrews wrote, after getting blown out in Game 1 the Nuggets need to find answers and energy as well.

  • The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla wrote that there was no defending the way Jokić played in Thursday’s opener.
  • In other NBA news Thursday, Memphis’ Ja Morant was named the Kia Rookie of the Year. Miami’s Kendrick Nunn finished second and New Orleans’ Zion Williamson was third.
    I was a little surprised Denver’s Michael Porter Jr. didn’t even get a single third-place vote, considering players like Eric Paschall (Golden State), Terence Davis II (Toronto) and RJ Barrett (New York) did.

Nuggets-Clippers results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Clippers 120, Nuggets 97Box score
Game 2Nuggets 110, Clippers 101Box score
Game 3Clippers 113, Nuggets 107Box score
Game 4Clippers 96, Nuggets 85Box score
Game 5Nuggets 111, Clippers 105Box score
Game 6Nuggets 111, Clippers 98Box score
Game 7Nuggets 104, Clippers 89Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series 4-3

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