LAS VEGAS — Monte Morris entered NBA Summer League with the understanding that it was an audition.

“My job is to go out … and show everyone I can be a backup in this league and run a unit,” he said last week.

Morris is aware of the gaping hole in Denver’s rotation at point guard behind Jamal Murray, and if Friday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves was the first test then Morris nailed all his lines, hit the high and low chords, and showed he could boogie. Morris scored 15 points on 7-15 shooting and dished out four assists to only one turnover as Denver hung on for a 70-69 win.

Friday’s game was not close until the end. The Nuggets led by double digits for most of the night and were up eight at halftime thanks largely to Morris, who scored 13 points across the first two quarters. He played well out of the pick and roll, probing into the teeth of the defense for crafty finishes and finding open teammates.

Morris, who spent his rookie season on a two-way deal, said he felt confident after receiving a pregame text from Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly.

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Christian Clark

Christian Clark is an Arlington, Texas, native who covers the Denver Nuggets for BSN Denver. Education: I graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in December 2014 with an emphasis in print and digital news. Career: My work has been featured in the Fort Worth-Star Telegram, The Oklahoman and Columbia Missourian, and online at and I came aboard at BSN Denver in November 2017. Most memorable sports moment: Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals. The finest sports book I’ve ever read: Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger. One sports movie I can’t live without: Tin Cup, do not @ me Most memorable experience as a reporter: The quadruple-OT game between the Nuggets and Trail Blazers. The sport that started it all: Basketball. My sports-watching memories kick in with those early-2000s Dallas Mavericks teams. They had bad hair and scored a lot of points. Shout-out to Nellie Ball.