Michael Porter Jr. helped Nuggets beat Lakers amid family drama

Michael Porter Jr. dealt with a lot of distractions in the days leading up to the Denver Nuggets’ win in Game 1 of their playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers.

First, his younger brother Jontay was banned for life from the NBA as a result of his involvement in a gambling scandal.

And on Friday, Porter’s other brother, Corban, was sentenced to six years in prison for a 2023 fatal drunk driving accident in Colorado.

Michael Porter Jr. scored 19 points on Saturday. Andrew Webers-USA TODAY Sports

Despite those issues, Porter Jr. managed to score 19 points against the Lakers and credited his teammates for helping him stay focused on the court.

“We definitely tried to break it down,” Porter Jr. said after Saturday’s win. Per ESPN. “Something bad and sad happened to some of my brothers. [I’ve got] I have 15 or 6 other brothers here, so I thought I had to come here and do my job for them and prepare to do it at a high level. ”

The victory comes after Porter Jr. missed practice on Friday to testify on behalf of his brother at a hearing held after Coban pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault in February. It became.

According to prosecutors, Koban’s blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was 0.19, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08. He was also speeding.

Jontay was a target of the league due to his involvement in gambling activities.

Jontay Porter has been banned for life from the NBA for violating the league’s gambling rules. USA TODAY Sports (via Reuters Con)

An investigation by the league found that Porter violated league rules, including disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, restricting his participation in one or more games for gambling purposes, and betting on NBA games. It was found that there was a violation. ”

That investigation is still ongoing.

Corban Porter (l), Michael Porter Jr. (c), Jontay Porter (r), 2017. AP

After Saturday’s game, Porter Jr. said all of his teammates reached out to him following Coban’s sentencing and supported him through this difficult time.

“For them to understand why I missed practice yesterday and just hurt my back was huge for me,” Porter Jr. said. “We’re human beings. We bring our emotions and things that happen off the court onto the court, but I’m mentally tough. I’ve been through a lot throughout my career. So you know that was one of the things that I had to overcome.”

Michael Porter Jr. leaves the court Saturday night. Andrew Webers-USA TODAY Sports

Porter Jr., 25, was drafted 14th overall in the 2018 draft by the Nuggets out of Missouri State, and after being plagued by back injuries for most of his first four seasons in the NBA, he missed each of his final two seasons. He set a career high for the number of games played. Including last season in 1981,

In the regular season, he averaged 16.7 points and 7 rebounds per game.