West Notes: Nuggets, Michael Porter Jr, Rockets, Kings


The Nuggets are really cookin’ right now, having won 13 of 15 since the All-Star break.Michael Porter Jr, Denver Nuggets

In Thursday’s victory over the Knicks, forward Michael Porter Jr.. hit three 3-pointers to break the Nuggets’ single-season record of 193, finishing with 31 points.

“I told him just now, ‘Go to Cabo whenever you want. I’ll pay for it,’” Nuggets coach Michael Malone joked.

  • Porter finished 13-of-16 from the field, including a pass to himself off the backboard for a dunk in traffic. The previous franchise mark for single-season threes was held by Dale Ellis (1996-97).
  • Overall, Malone indicated he is pleased. “We’re playing at a high level,” he said. “The challenge is with 12 (games) to go can we continue to keep this up and stay healthy while doing so? Our players deserve so much credit for their mindset and approach every single night.”


The rapidly rising Rockets have won seven straight, and they are getting contributions from just about everywhere. You don’t win that many in a row otherwise.

And they’ve done it without big man Alperen Sengun, out for the season with knee and ankle injuries. Sengun is undoubtedly in the running for the Most Improved Player award.

Anyway, back to the Rockets who are on the floor, and simply put, they’re getting it done.

“Good to get back to playing good basketball,” coach Ime Udoka told reporters after Thursday’s win over the Bulls. “Now you want to ride that momentum and just keep tightening the rope and do a little bit more every game.”

  • Houston is 9-1 in March and moved to just 2.5 games back of the Warriors for the final play-in spot. The current win streak is their longest in three years.
  • Of course, Dillon Brooks did get ejected after scoring 23 points, for a scrap with the Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan, as we relayed here. But Brooks was standing up for teammate Jalen Green after a hard foul.
  • Udoka on Brooks: “Had a great game, great impact, wish he didn’t get ejected but like I said I don’t mind him standing up for his guys. It was good to see him bounce back. He’s struggled a little bit lately shooting it but looked really good tonight (10-of-13 from the field).”


Nobody expected the Kings to drop a game to the Wizards, and perhaps not even the Kings nor Wizards themselves. But that’s what happened on Thursday night.

“Tough loss, especially where we are right now in our race for that playoff spot,” Kings coach Mike Brown told reporters. “But you got to give the Wizards credit, their coaching staff a lot of credit. They basically took it to us. (Kyle Kuzma) was a handful. We did not have answers. We tried to double-team him at times and he still found a way to hit big shots.”

The Kings (40-29) enter Friday as the eighth seed in the Western Conference but are just a half-game behind the Suns and Mavericks. So we know what Brown means when he talks about the playoffs — or perhaps more specifically, avoiding the play-in tournament.

  • In this particular game, offense was likely the problem, according to star guard De’Aaron Fox. “We only gave up 109 points which is not a terrible defensive game,” he said. “We turned them over 20 times. I think defensively we gave ourselves chances to win and for me, obviously, I have to be able to make some of those easier shots.”

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