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Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris (11) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Denver. The Nuggets won 105-96. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

There’s not a lot of positive health news coming out of the Denver Nuggets these days, but Monte Morris says he’s feeling better and better as the season progresses.

Morris is one of just five Nuggets to play in all 14 of the team's games. Aaron Gordon is the only other starter who can say the same, and the Nuggets will again be shorthanded when the Philadelphia 76ers come to town Wednesday. Michael Porter Jr. (low back pain) and Zeke Nnaji (right ankle sprain) will join Jamal Murray, who’s still recovering from knee surgery, in street clothes Wednesday. Denver coach Michael Malone said Will Barton III was “heading toward probable” late Wednesday morning, but the team listed the veteran wing and second-leading scorer as doubtful with low back pain later in the afternoon. Porter remains out for the “foreseeable future” without an official diagnosis available.

“It gives other guys opportunities,” Malone said of the injuries. “But it would be nice to have a healthy group and get into a rhythm.”

Morris is one player who appears to be doing just that. Denver’s starting point guard in Murray’s absence said Luka Doncic fell on him during a game in late October, triggering some knee pain. He appeared on the injury report a couple of times due to left knee tendinopathy but did not miss a game.

“I’ve just been fighting through it and just playing through it,” Morris said. “You know me, I’m a tough guy. I don’t really like sitting out unless I just can’t go. I’ve definitely been playing through stuff.”

After scoring in double figures in four of Denver’s last five games, Morris is averaging 11.4 points, 4.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds. His eight assists Monday set a new season-high, while his 17 points went down as the most he’s scored in the last 10 games.

“I’ve just been getting treatment and just playing in games,” Morris said after getting some shots up after Wednesday’s mostly mental practice. “I’m starting to feel better, been able to play without pain and stuff like that. I’m feeling good.”

Like most of the Nuggets, Morris’s 3-point shot is still coming along to start the season. His 29.6% mark is well below his numbers from the previous three seasons when his percentages ranged from 37.8 to 41.4%.

“I think he’s played really well for us,” Malone said, noting Morris’s role can change from a playmaker and defensive tone-setter with a healthy starting five to more of a scorer when Barton and Porter are unavailable.

“He’s shooting the ball lights out from mid-range right now. We, as a team, obviously, are not quite shooting it from the 3 where we would all like.”

Morris isn’t sweating the 3-point shooting numbers just yet. The combination of a pain-free knee and continued good looks could see those numbers continue to climb.

“I worry more when defenses are doing stuff where I can’t even get looks off. If I’m able to get my looks off, it’s just all about me stepping into them with confidence and making them,” Morris said.

“I just got to stay aggressive.”

Sixers come to Denver shorthanded

Those hoping to see a battle of MVP-candidate centers Thursday at Ball Arena will be a bit disappointed.

Philadelphia center Joel Embiid will miss the game due to the league’s health and safety protocol. Matisse Thybulle (health and safety), Ben Simmons (personal reasons) and Danny Green (hamstring tightness) are also listed as out for Philadelphia.

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