Denver Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. makes NBA regular season debut

It was a moment that was years in the making.

With 4:08 remaining in the first quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans, Michael Porter Jr. made his long-awaited NBA regular season debut. It has been 594 days since the Nuggets’ highly-touted rookie played in a competitive basketball game that wasn’t an exhibition.

The anticipation over when Porter Jr. would play has been building since the opening tipoff of the season. The No. 14 pick of the 2018 draft showed some positive signs during the preseason, averaging 9.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and shooting 55.9 percent in 16 minutes per game, but he didn’t play in Denver’s first four games. With Will Barton III dealing with a toe inflammation injury, it opened up an opportunity for the first-year small forward to see some action at the Smoothie King Center.

Porter Jr. would finish the game with 15 points and four rebounds on 5-of-8 shooting in 21 minutes of action as the Nuggets lost to the Pelicans 122-107.