Michael Malone called it one of the most consequential plays of Game 1. Nikola Jokic called it simply “playoff basketball.”
Michael Porter Jr.’s pivotal 50-50 loose ball recovery late in the fourth quarter was one of the defining moments from the Nuggets’ 132-126 win over the Lakers. Without it, the Nuggets might be trailing 0-1 in the series right now.
“I just remember getting on the floor for it. It easily could have been a jump ball,” Porter said. “I just tried my hardest to get the ball to my teammates through the crowd.”
He succeeded. Porter was able to shovel the ball off to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who fired it ahead to Jamal Murray, whose pinpoint alley-oop lob from outside the 3-point line feet greeted Aaron Gordon at the rim. Ball Arena erupted.
“It was big. It was very big,” said Murray. “It was a momentum swinger.”
But it all started with…