Michael Porter Jr. continues to improve with the Denver Nuggets

Former Mizzou Tiger forward Michael Porter Jr. had another double-double to help the Denver Nuggets beat the Utah Jazz.

Michael Porter Jr. has picked up his game this past month.

The former Missouri Tiger is becoming one of the better players for the Denver Nuggets, a stacked squad that is one of the top teams in the NBA this season. Porter continues to shine, and Thursday was no different.

He finished 25 minutes of basketball with 12 points and 12 rebounds as the Nuggets defeated the Utah Jazz 106-100. Thursday’s game gives him his fourth double-double in the past two weeks.

For the month of January, Porter is averaging 20 minutes a game with 12.2 points and 6.2 rebounds. He has doubled his minutes, points and rebounds all from the month of December.

It’s been a terrific month, and one where Porter keeps topping his best numbers. The forward had a career-high 25 points to begin the new year against the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 2. He finished a Jan. 20 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves with 14 rebounds, a personal best. And he had a career-high five assists in a 134-131 overtime victory against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 16.

Today, the league will announce the Rising Stars Challenge rosters for the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. The event will showcase the best first- and second-year players, and Porter has a chance to be invited to Chicago for the weekend.

Porter has fought back from his back injury that sat him for most of his only year with the Mizzou Tigers. He missed all of his first year in the NBA with the injury, and questions about his health were why he fell to the Nuggets at No. 14 in the 2018 NBA Draft. A potential top-3 pick, Porter was the last pick in the lottery that season. But he is playing at a level the Nuggets had hoped when they took that chance on him two summers ago.

The Nuggets currently sit second in the Western Conference at 33-15, behind only the Los Angeles Lakers. Porter should continue to be a key contributor off the bench, and it could lead to some important minutes come playoff time.

Before then though, Denver and Porter have one game left in January to play. They play tonight at the Milwaukee Bucks, the top team in the East with a 41-6 record. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.