Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. grabs Spurs' Zach Collins by throat during scuffle, both players ejected
Porter glared at Collins after the dunk, causing the Spurs forward to charge at Porter Jr., with the Denver star grabbing Collins by the throat during the confrontation.
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Both players were separated and eventually ejected from the game.
"I don’t want to say the stakes were high, but I feel like everybody wanted to win, and everybody was on the same page," Spurs center Sandro Mamukelashvili said. "Once you’re at that point, and you’re up, you just don’t want to lose that game you just kind of do everything to win."
After the game, Collins said he didn’t like how Porter Jr. was talking to him after the dunk.
"Ya I felt it in real-time," Collins told reporters after the game when asked if he felt Porter Jr. grab his neck.
"You see how I kind of pushed it off. I was ready," Collins continued. "I pushed the choke away. I was ready."
For the first-place Nuggets, Friday night’s loss was just the fourth time Denver has lost back-to-back games this season.
Despite the 26th triple-double of the year by center Nikola Jokic, Denver lost to a Spurs team that had lost 18 of its previous 20 contests.
San Antonio outrebounded Denver 50-33, outscoring the Nuggets 68-54 in the paint.
"They lived in our paint, outrebounded us and on top of that, we missed some really good looks," Nuggets guard Jamal Murray said. "It was tough to try to climb back, even when we brought a good attitude and good effort. We just couldn’t climb ourselves out of the hole that we created for ourselves."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.