Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr., Will Barton active for Game 2 vs. Suns

Jun 9, 2021, 6:20 PM

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) looks to pass as Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker defe...

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) looks to pass as Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker defends during Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Monday, June 7, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Nuggets wings Michael Porter Jr. and Will Barton are available against the Phoenix Suns for Denver’s Game 2 of the second-round series.

Porter is in the starting lineup Wednesday after tweaking his back on Monday. He went through shooting drills before the game with a heat pack on his back.

Denver head coach Mike Malone said Porter told him earlier Wednesday that he was feeling better after two days of treatment and that the training staff had to sign off on Porter to play.

Porter has averaged 18.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in seven games this postseason while shooting 53% from the floor and 41% from three-point range.

Barton hasn’t played since April 23 due to a hamstring injury. Malone said that Barton will play on a “very limited” minutes restriction.

“… You don’t come back from missing seven weeks and just go out there and play your usual minutes,” Malone said before the game. “He’d be on a very limited minute restriction if he is indeed able to play tonight.”

Barton averaged 12.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game in the regular season.

He gives the Nuggets another playmaker off the bounce who can also create his own shot, a key thing for a team that has injuries impacting the backcourt.

“He’s a huge part of their team,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “He’s got good size and moves well without the ball and can score the ball.

“We expected him to play in Game 1. When he didn’t, we were somewhat surprised.”

Phoenix Suns

Mat Ishbia...

Dan Bickley

Monty Williams’ windfall raises stakes for Phoenix Suns, Mat Ishbia

NBA ownership isn’t always fun and games. In Phoenix, the plot has thickened quicker than Monty Williams’ wallet.

1 day ago

Eric Lewis, referee...

Associated Press

Referee Eric Lewis not officiating NBA Finals amid Twitter burner account investigation

Eric Lewis was not selected to referee the NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat amid an investigation.

1 day ago

Former Suns head coach Monty Williams...

Arizona Sports

Report: Pistons agree to deal with former Suns HC Monty Williams

Former Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams has agreed to a six-year deal worth $72 million to coach the Detroit Pistons.

2 days ago

Fans of the Phoenix Suns poses for photos outside of Footprint Center before Game Three of the NBA ...

Arizona Sports

Phoenix City Council vote passes to support Suns’ All-Star bids

The Phoenix City Council had a 9-0 vote on Wednesday in favor of supporting the bids from the Suns and Mercury to host All-Star games.

2 days ago

Bob Myers, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors GM...

Associated Press

Dynasty architect Bob Myers departs Golden State Warriors

Bob Myers is departing as president and GM of the Golden State Warriors after building a team that captured four titles in eight years.

3 days ago

Doc Rivers, Suns head coaching candidates...

Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns’ list of head-coaching candidates down to 3

The Phoenix Suns have narrowed their head-coaching search to Doc Rivers, Frank Vogel and Kevin Young, reports Arizona Sports' John Gambadoro.

3 days ago

Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr., Will Barton active for Game 2 vs. Suns