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Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. suffers back injury after missing wide-open layup vs. Rockets

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Michael Porter Jr. had what should have been an easy dunk on Saturday afternoon in the Denver Nuggets' 95-94 win over the Houston Rockets at Ball Arena.

Or, at the very least, he could have passed it up to one of two teammates who were ahead of him on the breakaway play.

Instead Porter Jr. delivered what should go down as the worst missed layup of the season.

After coming up with a loose ball near midcourt in the first quarter on Saturday afternoon, the Nuggets forward somehow completely fumbled the play.

Porter Jr. injures back on play, leaves game early

To make the blunder even worse, Porter Jr. appeared to suffer a back injury on the play.

Porter Jr. — who has a long history of back and knee injuries dating back to his one season at Missouri — was seen limping and moving slowly after his miss before he left the game for good.

The Nuggets described his injury as lower back soreness, though they didn’t provide an update after the win. Denver coach Michael Malone said he gave Porter a hug at halftime, but that he still had to talk to the training staff to learn specifics.

Porter Jr., 23, signed a five-year max extension worth up to $207 million with the Nuggets in September. Since then, though, he’s struggled. He’s averaged 10.9 points and 6.9 rebounds in eight games this season while shooting just 36% from the field. Porter Jr. went just 1-of-20 from behind the arc in his last five games, too.

Though it’s still unclear how severe Porter Jr.’s injury is, seeing a player with an extensive injury history go down is never a good sign. 

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