News – US – Surging Nuggets take seventh place in a row after Michael Malone’s ejection

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After Malone’s second-quarter ejection against the Spurs on Wednesday night, the Nuggets played with a passion their coach asked for, which resulted in a 106-96 win – the seventh straight win in Denver and the 16 in 19 games Now, between 33 and 18, the Nuggets will again test their series against the Spurs on Friday

“This has been brewing for a while and my job as head coach is to fight and protect all of my players,” said Malone

Nikola Jokic more than made up for Jamal Murray’s absence with another night of superlatives Jokic played a more aggressive style of basketball than usual, ending up with 25 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists while Murray missed his second game with knee pain , Jokic cut the Spurs’ defense apart with fancy passes and unmatched touch

“He does this all year round,” said Jokic when Malone came to his defense. “He always talks to the officials. We try to build such a team and family atmosphere”

Michael Porter Jr poured 18 points and snagged 10 rebounds to back up Denver’s distinct rebound advantage (53-42), but Wednesday’s win was a collective effort in just his second start to the season, Facundo Campazzo penned several highlights for the big men JaMychal Green and JaVale McGee Both reserves played crucial minutes when Paul Millsap (rest) also missed the game

But with assistant Wes Unseld Jr The Nuggets could pull the strings instead of Malone, pointing to their suffocating second-half defense as the main reason behind the win.The Spurs only scored 46 points in total in the second half, while Malone was watching from a TV in the locker room

“It’s really hard,” said Malone. “I have the same problem when I go to the Summer League. I sit in the stands and think about everything Jordi (Fernandez) does It’s probably like the front office does. You probably sit there during the game and say, “What the hell is he doing?” The hardest thing for me is just that I want to be with our boys ”

The Nuggets looked shocked in the first four minutes of the third quarter San Antonio cleared the lanes and penetrated effortlessly Before the Nuggets showed up in the second half, the Spurs had already abandoned a 12-0 run

But then Jokic showed why he deserved the respect his coach asked for.Jokic scored or assisted on 13 consecutive points, including a devastating, whirling dance around Jakob Poeltl that was equivalent to an ankle breaker of a great man there was other momentum games, including Campazzo’s Clutch 3-pointer and a sequence where Aaron Gordon tore away a loose ball and then served it to Jokic for an easy bench

Denver went on break with fireworks and they didn’t come from any of the players At 5:32 in the first half, Malone exploded from the bench after feeling Jokic had been mugged for a turnover, Malone barred the officer for walked for a moment, then tried to walk towards him while Nugget’s assistant Wes Unseld Jr held him back The outbreak was ejected by Malone and he didn’t leave the court without saying a few words

Before the game, Malone said he asked his boys to defend themselves instead of relying on their elite offensive to carry them

“If we’re serious about winning a championship, we need to start developing much more consistent defense habits,” Malone said, citing defense competitions and distractions both of which were down during their winning streak

“Activity, energy, effort in addition to communication and discipline will allow us to be a much better defensive team,” he said

Jokic and Porter were instrumental in building the lead. Jokic dominated inside and finished the first half with 15 points and six assists. Twice he served as a cutter for baskets and changed roles from his usual duties as moderator

Porter was a force on the glass. He had eight boards of team strength and 15 points on 6-of-9 in the first two quarters. It felt like every time he was near the glass hovered there was a good chance he would reconcile a miss with his superior length

Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs, Nikola Jokić, Dejounte Murray, NBA

News – USA – Surging Nuggets win seventh in a row after Michael Malone’s ejection
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Source: https://www.denverpost.com/2021/04/07/surging-nuggets-win-seventh-michael-malone-ejection/