It may just be the preseason, but the Denver Nuggets are perfect through three games. It all started when Denver knocked off Portland last week, which they followed up with a dominating victory over the Clippers. That continued Monday night in Phoenix as Denver walked out of Talking Stick Resort Arena with a 107-102 victory.
With the win, Denver is now 3-0 in preseason play with one tune up game remaining on Thursday against the Trail Blazers. That game will be at the Pepsi Center as the Nuggets will look to stay hot going into the regular season.
As for Monday nights game, the Nuggets wasted no time as they jumped out to a 39-30 lead after one quarter of play. Gary Harris, Jerami Grant, and Jamal Murray all had solid opening periods, which continued in the second quarter. At the half, those three combined for 43 points (Harris 16, Murray 14, Grant 13) on 14-of-23 shooting from the field and were virtually unstoppable.
Grant was thrust into the starting lineup as Paul Millsap missed the game due to calf tightness. Malik Beasley also sat out (quad contusion), which opened the door for guys like Michael Porter Jr., Juancho Hernangomez, and Torrey Craig to play more minutes. Porter Jr. certainly made the most of those as he poured in seven first half points, while making some incredibly tough shots in the process.
If anyone is looking for me... I’ll be watching this video for the rest of eternity pic.twitter.com/3EZ5uJ0enq— Brandon Ewing (@B_Skip1717) October 15, 2019
If Porter Jr. continues to make shots like that, it is going to be tough for Michael Malone to keep him out of the lineup. Not only did Porter Jr. shine in the first two quarters, but he had a solid second half as well. Porter Jr. finished the game with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field to go along with five rebounds, two blocks, and one steal.
Now we go back to Jerami Grant, who showcased yet again why the Nuggets made the move to acquire his services this offseason. Grant is a perfect fit on this Denver roster and it showed again on Monday night. After a solid first half of 13 points, Grant only built on that in half number two as he finished the game with 22 points on 6-of-8 shooting and was 2-of-3 from three-point range.
Grant has been a revelation this preseason. He can play next to anyone and everyone on the Nuggets roster and he does it flawlessly. This is already starting to look like a match made in heaven. Yes... it is just three preseason games, but just by looking at his fit with the rest of Denver’s roster, it is clear as day just how positive an impact Grant could have on the Nuggets success this season.
Gary Harris to Jerami Grant, who drains the open 3. pic.twitter.com/aytaqhn9jS— Joel Rush (@JoelRushNBA) October 15, 2019
Other Nuggets who finished in double-figures were Harris (18) and Murray (16), while Mason Plumlee finished with solid stat line of 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field. Plumlee also hauled in four rebounds and dished out six assists.