The first quarter started with a sight for sore eyes — a hot start for Michael Porter Jr. who started with 8 points in the first 5 minutes on 3 shots. After the first 5 minutes, he continued to be impressive — making good defensive rotations, and knocking down a couple more jumpers. With the absence of Denver’s two bench point guards, Michael Malone decided to change the rotation and had Jamal Murray anchor the bench unit instead of MPJ.

The Chicago Bulls had a quiet start on both ends of the floor, only scoring 20 points in the first quarter. Zach Lavine was their leading scorer with 6 points, but the Nuggets had done a good job defensively. After the first frame, the Nuggets led 32-20.

The second quarter started with a rough patch for the second unit. They were just running motion with very little secondary action — this led to a 12 point lead dwindling to 6 before Joker, KCP and MPJ subbed back in. Jamal Murray missed some jumpers that he would normally make in those minutes too. The bench just wasn’t good enough.

After Jokic and MPJ subbed in the offense started looking better again. In those minutes it became clear that the chemistry between Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. is just getting better and better. Unfortunately, MPJ picked up a quick third foul at the 5 minute mark in the quarter. He had to sit after that, and the Bulls started whittling away at the lead even further — cutting it down to 4 at a certain point.

However, Nikola Jokic had other ideas and the Nuggets started cooking. Joker had 12 first half assists — 1 more than the entire Chicago Bulls team. Jamal Murray also started finding a better rhythm next to Joker and had 14 points on 13 shots by halftime. Christian Braun found his way back into the rotation tonight and had solid minutes on both ends of the court. Him, Aaron Gordon, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were all very good defensively in the first half. The Nuggets won the second quarter despite bad bench minutes to start and found themselves leading by 15 — 62-47.

The third quarter can be subbed up by saying that Michael Porter Jr. is a phenomenal shooter. He hit four 3 pointers in the quarter and had 16 points in the quarter overall. It was the best quarter that he has had all season, and maybe of his career. At the end of the quarter, he had 31 points on the game on 11/16 from the field and 6/9 from beyond the arc. Between him, Jamal Murray, and Nikola Jokic all playing well in the third quarter — the Nuggets found themselves up by 21 at the end of the third quarter.

MPJ had the best game of his career — a great follow up to the worst game of his season. The third quarter was a great showcase of that — the defense, the threes, and some shot creation were all brought to the table by MPJ tonight and especially in the third.

The fourth quarter was all garbage time. The Nuggets had a great response — one you would expect from a title contender. After a rough loss to the Boston Celtics, they took it to heart and came out with great effort this game. The Nuggets took care of business against a team that they should have taken care of business against. The defense looked good, and the offense looked elite. MPJ had his best game of the season, Joker was dominant with single digit points, and the defense of Aaron Gordon, Christian Braun, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was great. Nuggets win big in this one 126-103.