Nuggets F Michael Porter Jr., Spurs C Zach Collins ejected after fight following dunk
Michael Porter Jr. and Zach Collins were ejected on Friday night after the two got into a brief altercation in San Antonio.
Midway through the third quarter of the Spurs' 128-120 win over the Denver Nuggets at the AT&T Center, Porter threw down a huge dunk on Collins.
The dunk was clean, but Porter kept talking to Collins as the two started working their way down the court. That set Collins off. He chased Porter down after Porter had turned his back and bumped him, which sparked a brief altercation near midcourt.
While it didn't last long, Porter grabbed Collins completely by the neck before they were separated.
MPJ and Zach Collins were ejected from the Nuggets-Spurs game after this scuffle pic.twitter.com/RRiN1SCCan
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 11, 2023
Both Collins and Porter were then ejected from the game.
"He made a good play, he got me at the rim," Collins said, via the San Antonio Express-News' Nick Talbot. "Then he was just talking, and I didn't like it. So I just went after him."
As for the choke, Collins said he felt it happen in real time — and he was prepared to respond, but he was pushed away before he could do so.
"I pushed it off. I was ready," Collins said. "I pushed the choke away, I was ready."
Zach Collins talks about his dust up with Michael Porter Jr in the third quarter pic.twitter.com/BKQcT6SaOa
— Nick Talbot (@NicholasRTalbot) March 11, 2023
Nuggets star Jamal Murray, though, saw it differently.
"I don't know what he got so emotional for," Murray said of Collins, via the Express-News' Tom Orsborn. "He got dunked on and he started yapping. I've never seen anything like that."
Collins finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs. Porter had seven points, one rebound and one assist.
San Antonio held a 98-93 lead after the third quarter, and it held on to take the eight-point win — which marked the Spurs' third win in five games and snapped a two-game losing skid. Keldon Johnson led the way with 23 points and eight rebounds, and Doug McDermott added 20 points off the bench.
Nikola Jokic had a triple-double for the Nuggets with 37 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Murray added 24 points and seven assists. Denver, following Wednesday's loss to the Chicago Bulls, has now lost consecutive games for the first time since late January and just the third time all season.