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Nuggets

Nuggets stun Clippers, advance to West finals

For the past 26 years the biggest win in Nuggets’ franchise history was when Denver knocked off the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the 1994 NBA playoffs and Dikembe Mutombo was seen on the floor clutching the ball over his head afterward. It’s safe to say there’s a new No. 1 in town after Denver shocked the Clippers and the basketball world with a 104-89 win Tuesday night.

Denver gets a couple days off before the start of the Western Conference Finals on Friday (7 p.m., TNT) vs. the top-seeded L.A. Lakers.

As for Tuesday, the Nuggets set numerous records with the win, here’s a look at some of them:

  • Denver became the first team ever to come back from 3-1 deficits twice in the same postseason.
  • Became the first team ever to rally from double-digit deficits in three straight games when facing elimination.
  • Tied the record for most wins when facing elimination in one postseason with six. The team they tied? The 1994 Nuggets.
  • Jamal Murray became the first player in history to score 40 points or more in three elimination games in the same postseason after scoring 40 on Tuesday.
  • Nikola Jokić became the first player to record a triple-double in the first three quarters of a Game 7. Jokić finished with 16 points, 22 rebounds and 13 assists.
    He’s also now one of just three players to have multiple Game 7 triple doubles, joining Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo.

That’s what they said

After the win Murray pushed back against all the people who’ve been doubting the Nuggets, saying:

“You got (Shaquille O’Neal), you got Charles (Barkley), I think Zach LoweStephen A. (Smith), all y’all better start giving this team some damn respect. Because we put in the work. We shouldn’t have been down 3-1, but to come back down 3-1 against the Clippers is a big achievement, so it’s fun just to change that narrative.”

Jokić echoed much the same tone, saying:

“Nobody wants us here. Nobody thinks we can do something. We proved ourselves and proved everybody we can do something. … We are just not accepting that somebody’s better than us.”

As for the game itself Murray credited the Nuggets ability to outwork L.A. as the reason for the historic win.

“We’ve got a lot of energy, and we brought it and they didn’t match that. They got who they got. They’ve got a talented squad. They’ve got Doc (Rivers), too. They’ve got assistant coaches who are about to be head coaches. We know what they have, we just outworked them a little bit with our young legs.”

As for Nuggets head coach Michael Malone, he couldn’t be more proud of his players.

“I think this is our sixth straight elimination game. Seventy-one days in the bubble and just to stay together, that commitment, that toughness is — you don’t see that around very often. That speaks to the guys in the locker room and how much they love each other. Just an amazing feeling. …
“So proud. All the guys, never got down, believed in each other. Believed in themselves. In light of all the noise outside this series that we had no chance. We have people guaranteeing it. We found a way to beat a really good team three times. I’ve run out of things to say.”

With one L.A. team down, there’s another one waiting for Denver in the form of the L.A. Lakers led by LeBron James. When asked if he’s worried about the upcoming series, Jokić responded:

“They gotta worry about us, too.”

Highlights: Nuggets 104, Clippers 89

Tip-ins

Nuggets vs. Lakers
Western Conference Finals schedule

GameDateTimeChannel
Game 1Fri. Sept. 187 p.m.TNT
Game 2Sun. Sept. 205:30 p.m.TNT
Game 3Tue. Sept. 227 p.m.TNT
Game 4Thur. Sept. 247 p.m.TNT
*Game 5Sat. Sept. 267 p.m.TNT
*Game 6Mon. Sept. 28TBDTNT
*Game 7Wed. Sept. 30TBDTNT
*If necessary. All games played in NBA bubble in Orlando. All time MT

Nuggets vs. Clippers
Western Conference Semifinals results

GameResult
Game 1Clippers 120, Nuggets 97Box score
Game 2Nuggets 110, Clippers 101Box score
Game 3Clippers 113, Nuggets 107Box score
Game 4Clippers 96, Nuggets 85Box score
Game 5Nuggets 111, Clippers 105Box score
Game 6Nuggets 111, Clippers 98Box score
Game 7Nuggets 104, Clippers 89Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series 4-3

Nuggets stun Clippers, advance to West finals

For the past 26 years the biggest win in Nuggets’ franchise history was when Denver knocked off the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the 1994 NBA playoffs and Dikembe Mutombo was seen on the floor clutching the ball over his head afterward. It’s safe to say there’s a new No. 1 in town […]

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Nuggets Uncategorized

Porter calls out coaches, teammates after Nuggets’ 96-85 loss Wednesday

The Nuggets lost to the Clippers 96-85 in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night in Orlando, but it’s what happened after the game that quickly became the bigger story.

Denver rookie Michael Porter Jr. scored 15 points in the first half on 5-for-6 shooting, he finished the game with 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting. After the game he was asked what he needed to do in the second half to get more involved and here was his response:

“I just didn’t touch the ball. They didn’t do anything differently. … That is up to the playcalling, the coaches and whose hands they want to put the ball in. We kept going to (Nikola Jokić) and (Jamal Murray) and they are two amazing players, but I just think to beat them we need to get more players involved. We have to move the ball a little bit better. We can’t be predictable against that team.”

It didn’t stop there though as Porter went on to say he’s going to talk to the coaches about the plan going forward.

“I think if I am going to be out there on the floor playing a lot of minutes, I think I should voice that. I will probably talk to the coaches and tell them what I see being out there on the floor just letting them know, look, they know what we are doing. We have to swing the ball. We have a lot of players that can play basketball and score, so we have to get some more guys involved.”

Porter said.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard voiced his displeasure on Twitter with what Porter said after the game in a series of tweets, including this one, talking about whether Porter’s assessment was correct, just handled poorly:

Clippers stifle Denver offense

As for the actual game, Denver was thoroughly shut down as L.A.’s Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley held Murray to 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting, along with seven assists and four turnovers.

Jokić still had a solid game for the Nuggets, finishing with 26 points and 11 rebounds. But it was no match for Leonard who nearly had a triple double with 30 points, 11 boards and nine assists.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone didn’t mince words either after the game, saying:

“We have to be a hell of a lot better on offense. I have to help our guys more. They’re just dogging and hounding Jamal Murray everywhere. It’s been really hard to get him open for quality looks. … We worked so hard for everything we tried to get, and obviously we’re struggling to make shots right now”

Another comeback in store?

The Nuggets once again are trailing 3-1 in a best-of-seven series, but this Clippers team is on a completely different level than that of the Utah Jazz who the Nuggets rallied to beat in seven games.

Obviously anything is possible, but at this point if the Nuggets can manage to eek out a win in Game 5 and force a Game 6 before bowing out of this year’s NBA playoffs that appears to be the most positive outcome remaining.

Nuggets-Clippers Game 4 highlights

Nuggets-Clippers results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Clippers 120, Nuggets 97Box score
Game 2Nuggets 110, Clippers 101Box score
Game 3Clippers 113, Nuggets 107Box score
Game 4Clippers 96, Nuggets 85Box score
Game 5Nuggets 111, Clippers 105Box score
Game 6Nuggets 111, Clippers 98Box score
Game 7Nuggets 104, Clippers 89Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series 4-3

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Nuggets Uncategorized

Nuggets no match for Clippers in Game 1

The Nuggets and Clippers were tied after the first quarter in Thursday night’s opening game of the Western Conference semifinals, from that point on L.A. outscored Denver by 23 and rolled to an easy 120-97 win.

Nuggets center Nikola Jokić struggled on both ends of the floor in the loss as he finished with just 15 points, three rebounds and three assists. While first-round series star Jamal Murray shot 5-for-15 from the field and ended with 12 points, six assist and three boards.

You can say whatever, it’s gonna be true. It was a bad, bad night for us. But we can change, we can be better.”

Jokić said after the loss.

Clippers at full strength

As for the Clippers, Los Angeles head coach Doc Rivers had his entire roster intact for just the 13th time the season and the first since arriving to the NBA bubble.

Guard Patrick Beverley returned after missing the final five games of L.A.’s first-round series against Dallas. Marcus Morris was no longer having to try and keep up with Dallas’ Luka Dončić and stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were in a rhythm early.

“I thought we just locked into our assignments. To be honest, that’s the best we’ve done so far against an opponent. Our attention to detail was great and we followed the game plan … It just took us to lock in tonight and come here and do what we needed to do. There’s no sugar-coating answer or no headline answer. We just locked into what we needed to do, And that was enough for us to play with energy and effort. We just knew what our job was tonight and we executed it.”

George said after the Clippers win in Game 1.

Nuggets fell into L.A.’s trap

According to Nuggets forward Paul Millsap Denver was unable to adjust to the Clippers pressure defense.

“They get up in you, they take you out of the flow of your offense, and they make you take one-on-one or contested shots and we fell right into their trap.”

Millsap said.

Meanwhile, Nuggets coach Michael Malone was much more concerned with the Nuggets inability to guard on the defensive end and for teammates to help out when needed.

“Can we contain one-on-one, and can we guard the paint?. A guy gets beat, where’s our help?”

Malone said.

Nuggets-Clippers Game 1 highlights

Tip-ins

As TheAthletic.com’s Kendra Andrews wrote, after getting blown out in Game 1 the Nuggets need to find answers and energy as well.

  • The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla wrote that there was no defending the way Jokić played in Thursday’s opener.
  • In other NBA news Thursday, Memphis’ Ja Morant was named the Kia Rookie of the Year. Miami’s Kendrick Nunn finished second and New Orleans’ Zion Williamson was third.
    I was a little surprised Denver’s Michael Porter Jr. didn’t even get a single third-place vote, considering players like Eric Paschall (Golden State), Terence Davis II (Toronto) and RJ Barrett (New York) did.

Nuggets-Clippers results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Clippers 120, Nuggets 97Box score
Game 2Nuggets 110, Clippers 101Box score
Game 3Clippers 113, Nuggets 107Box score
Game 4Clippers 96, Nuggets 85Box score
Game 5Nuggets 111, Clippers 105Box score
Game 6Nuggets 111, Clippers 98Box score
Game 7Nuggets 104, Clippers 89Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series 4-3

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The Nuggets and Clippers were tied after the first quarter in Thursday night’s opening game of the Western Conference semifinals, from that point on L.A. outscored Denver by 23 and rolled to an easy 120-97 win. Nuggets center Nikola Jokić struggled on both ends of the floor in the loss as he finished with just […]

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Nuggets

Nuggets-Jazz Game 7 preview

Despite falling behind 3-1 in their best-of-seven series with the Jazz, the Nuggets have battled back to force Game 7 tonight at 6:30 p.m. on ABC. With that in mind here’s a roundup of the best stories to get you ready for tonight’s game.

Murray vs. Mitchell

TheAthletic.com’s John Hollinger wrote about the battle between Denver’s Jamal Murray and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, described as a “shootout for the ages.”

Both have had two 50-point games in the series, becoming just the third and fourth players in NBA history to have multiple 50-point games in the same series. For the Nuggets Murray has scored 142 points in the past three games with just five turnovers total.

Calipari on Murray

During Murray’s one season playing college basketball he played for legendary coach John Calipari, The Denver Post’s Mike Singer talked to the Kentucky coach on what it’s been like watching his former player shine on the biggest of stages.

Among other things he said this about Murray:

“How good can he be? We don’t know yet, because what he’s done is he’s beginning to master his craft. … There’s not one shot that he shoots that he thinks is a bad shot. If he gets it off, it was a good shot. That’s what Jamal is.”

Harris could be the X-factor

At TheDNVR.com Harrison Wind wrote about how Denver guard Gary Harris could be the X-factor in tonight’s elimination game.

Game 6 was the first NBA game Harris had played in since March, but he managed to play 21 points and held Utah’s Jordan Clarkson to just 11 points on 5-for-14 shooting.

“To welcome him back in an elimination game I think was reassuring to our players. Our guys trust Gary. I trust Gary. He went out there and defended at a high level.”

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said about Harris.

MPJ deserves praise too

TheAthletic’s Kendra Andrews took at a look at what Michael Porter Jr.’s rookie season has been like through the eyes of those who have taught him.

While The Post’s Sean Keller wrote that while Murray is clearly the Nuggets postseason MVP, both Porter and Harris deserve game balls too.

Chance to make some money

And lastly, on the sports betting side of things, DraftKings is offering fans a chance to bet on the Nuggets and profit based on how many points Murray scores tonight.

The Game 7 scoring special goes like this: Place at $27 or larger wager on the Nuggets moneyline tonight and you get $1 towards a free bet for every point Murray scores. So if Murray scores 40 points you’d get a $40 free bet.

As for the moneyline bet, if you bet $27 and the Nuggets win you’d get $51.84 back, plus however much money for the free bet based on Murray’s point total.

Whether the Nuggets win or lose you’ll get the free bet portion of the special.

Nuggets-Jazz series results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

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Murray scores 50 again as Nuggets win, force Game 7 vs. Jazz

For the second time in this postseason Jamal Murray scored 50 points and for the second game in a row it was Murray who keep the Nuggets season alive as Denver beat Utah 119-107 on Sunday night to force a Game 7 on Tuesday night (6:30 p.m., ABC).

Immediately after another historic performance Murray didn’t want to talk about himself though, instead he focused on the fight for social justice and change while speaking with TNT on the court.

“I play with a lot of heart, play with a lot of passion. And when you’re fighting for something, it means a whole lot more. And we’ve been fighting this fight for a long time, and we’re tired of being tired. It’s an emotional thing because it’s not just me. … It’s lives. It’s not … it’s your life. Imagine losing your life. I don’t know what else to say. Imagine a father losing their life while they have kids. Imagine a father, a son, a brother getting shot seven times in front of their kids. Imagine that.”

Murray said after Sunday night’s Game 6 vs. the Jazz

Murray has been wearing custom-made Adidas shoes with the likenesses of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor during the series and on Saturday he placed the shoes in front of the camera before his scheduled interview for two minutes before he came on and answered questions.

Historic performance

Murray took just 24 shots en route to his second 50-point game of the series, making 17 of them, including going 9-for-12 from three-point range. In the process here’s a list of some of the elite company he joined in various ways:

  • Only the third player to score 50 points in an elimination game joining Wilt Chamberlain and Sleepy Floyd.
  • Joined Michael Jordan as only players to have three straight 40-point, 5-rebound, 5-assists games in the playoffs.
  • First player since Jordan in 1993 to have 40 points in three straight playoff games.

His coach Michael Malone had this to say about him after the game:

“I’ve been blessed to have been around some great players in this game — LeBron (James), CP (Chris Paul), Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, but I’ve never seen a guy go 50, 42 and 50 — and two of those games being elimination games.

Jazz let one slip away

As for Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, who scored 44 points in the loss, he thinks the Jazz let Game 6 get away from them.

“We’re just pissed off because that was a winnable game. No one’s down at all. We got one more game. Jamal’s been playing out of his mind. (Nikola) Jokic has been playing great. We just need to find a way to execute. We’ve done it three times. We can do it a fourth.”

Mitchell said after the game.

Game 7 experience

The Nuggets should be used to Game 7s at this point, Tuesday will mark the third straight series the Nuggets have played that went the distance. In last year’s postseason Denver beat San Antonio in Game 7 in the first round before losing to Portland in Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals. Both games were at Pepsi Center.

Tip-ins

The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla wrote about Murray’s 50-point performance in the midst of him grieving for Black lives lost and how it helped to lift the spirit of our city that is need of a reason to smile right now.

Nuggets-Jazz series results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Best-of-seven series tied 3-3
DateTime (MT)Channels
Tue., Sept. 16:30 p.m.ABC
*If necessary, all games played on neutral court in Orlando

Murray drops 50 points to force Game 7

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Nuggets

Murray’s sizzling second half rallies Nuggets over Jazz

The Nuggets time in the NBA’s Orlando bubble appeared to be nearing an end Tuesday evening with Denver trailing Utah by 15 points with nine minutes to play in the third quarter, then Jamal Murray happened. Murray scored 33 points on 14-for-18 shooting in the second half to rally the Nuggets to the come-from-behind 117-107 victory over the Jazz.

When all was said and done the 23-year-old Nuggets guard finished with 42 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Even more impressive he didn’t have a turnover for the second game in a row, giving him 92 points and zero turnover in the past two games.

The Nuggets now trail Utah 3-2 in the best-of-seven series with Game 6 scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. (ESPN, Altitude).

Murray’s 33-point second half is tied with Russell Westbrook (2018) and James Harden (2015) for the most second half points by a player when facing elimination in the past 20 years.

He also joined Harden, Westbrook and Allen Iverson as the only players to have multiple 30-point halves in the same postseason since 1996-1997. Murray scored 32 points in the second half Denver’s loss in Game 4.

“The young man is growing up and turning into a superstar on the biggest stage. And couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said of Murray after the game.

Not only did Murray save the Nuggets’ season, he also turned the focus to fighting for social justice and change after the game.

“We got a lot of young, talented guys (in the NBA). And we get to play on the biggest stage. We get a platform. And I wear those Breonna (Taylor) shoes and those George Floyd shoes. We’ve been fighting that (social injustice) battle for 400 years. The least I can do is go out on the court and fight my battle, and just play as hard as I can, and we’ll live with the result. We’ve got a lot of guys in this league that can take over and a lot of guys that aren’t in the playoffs that can take over, as well. As everybody says, the league’s in good hands with the amount of talent we have.”

Murray said after Tuesday’s game.

Jokic comes up big

Murray wasn’t the only Nuggets player to step up with Denver facing elimination, Nikola Jokić is another major reason the Nuggets still have at least one more game left to play this season.

While Murray dominated quarters three and four, Jokić was the star of the first frame. Not only did he score 21 of his 31 points in the opening quarter, he did so on 8-for-8 shooting, including knocking down five three pointers.

“He was scoring at such a high clip and making Rudy (Gobert) step out and guard him.”

Murray said of Jokic’s play on Tuesday.

Jokic was quick to praise the overall energy of the team, as well as single Murray out.

“I think the energy won the game for us. And Jamal.”

Jokic said after the win.

Tip-ins

The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla wondered whether the NBA could give Murray a lit bit of the love that’s currently being heaped on Luka Dońič.

Nuggets-Jazz results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

Avs-Stars Game 4 moved to Sunday at 4 p.m.

With the NHL and its players postponing games Thursday and Friday, Game 4 of the Avalanche-Stars series has been pushed back to Sunday at 4 p.m. MST. It was originally scheduled to be played Friday night. Game 5 will now be on Monday at 7:45 p.m. If Games 6 and 7 are needed they’ll be […]

Rockies-Diamondbacks postpone Thursday’s game

The Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks joined a growing list of professional sports teams as they postponed their scheduled game on Thursday. The Rockies released the following statement via Twitter: The Diamondbacks quickly responding with a tweet of their own supporting the Rockies: How the movement started The movement began yesterday when the Milwaukee Bucks […]

Broncos cancel Thursday’s practice

On Thursday morning the Denver Broncos joined a list of other NFL teams who decided to cancel their scheduled practice amid protests and demonstrations over social injustice in our country. Broncos players met for more than two hours before they came to the decision to cancel practice. The other NFL teams who have canceled practice […]

Nuggets-Jazz game Thursday postponed

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Rockies hold on for 8-7 win over D-backs

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Avs blow third-period lead, battle back to win

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Nuggets

Nuggets try to stave off elimination vs. Jazz

After three straight losses to the Jazz the Nuggets are faced with the end of their season this afternoon (4:30 p.m., TNT, Altitude) unless they can figure out a way to slow down a Utah team that has scored at least 124 points in all four games of the series to date.

To make matters even more unpleasant for the Nuggets is the fact that due to the NBA bubble in Orlando they end up running into members of the Jazz on their off day. On Monday, on the way to his team’s film session, Paul Millsap had to share an elevator with several Utah players.

“It’s really awkward and weird, but it’s the situation that we’re in.”

Millsap, a former member of the Jazz, told The Denver Post of the unfortunate elevator ride.

The primary objective for Denver this afternoon will be figuring out a way to slow down Donovan Mitchell who already became just the third player in NBA playoff history to have two 50-point games in the same series.

“He’s playing out of this world right now.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said about Mitchell.

Denver might get a little help in that regard as injured guard Gary Harris has been upgraded to questionable for today’s game. Although it’s also questionable how effective Harris would be since his last action in an NBA game came way back on March 11, more than five months ago.

Unless Denver manages to rally from this 3-1 deficit it will be hard to consider this season anything other than underwhelming at best. The Nuggets reached Game 7 of the Western Conference quarterfinals a year ago and had their eyes set on bigger and better things this year.

  • Nuggets-Jazz results and schedule
GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

Categories
Nuggets

Murray’s 50 not enough as Nuggets fall to Jazz

Jamal Murray and scored 50 points, but it wasn’t enough as Donovan Mitchell poured in 51 as Utah beat Denver 129-127 on Sunday night to take commanding 3-1 series lead.

It marked the first time in NBA playoff history that two opposing players each reached the 50-point plateau in the same game. In the process Mitchell also joined Michael Jordan (vs. Cleveland in 1988) and Allen Iverson (vs. Toronto in 2001) to have multiple 50-point games in the same playoff series.

For the Nuggets the result is all that matters at this point, as Denver must win the next three games against Utah or else its season is over.

“We’re not going to roll over, we’re going to fight. And I was really encouraged after the game, after a tough loss, down 3-1. There’s no quit in our team. Those guys are fired up. They’re ready to get back out there and play Game 5 and try to stretch and extend this series.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said after the loss.

Denver tweaked its starting lineup after getting blown out in Games 2 and 3. Malone benched Michael Porter Jr. and Torrey Craig and inserted Jerami Grant and Monte Morris into starting five.

Denver had a one-point lead at halftime, but got outscored 33-24 in the third quarter and were unable to fully recover in the fourth quarter. There also was a massive free-throwing shooting difference in the game, with the Jazz attempting 36 free throws to the Nuggets 13.

“We’ve struggled to get to the line, but I’m not going to really comment on that. I’m not giving the league any of my money.”

Malone said after the game.

Murray had the same thoughts, as he had this to say:

“I’m not going to speak on it. I don’t want to get fined.”

Game 5 is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. (TNT, Altitude).

  • Murray’s 50 points were the most in Nuggets playoff history. He also added 11 rebounds and seven assists in the loss.
  • Nikola Jokić had a solid game as he scored 29 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists. He struggled from three-point range though, going 3-for-10 from deep.
  • The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla wrote that the Nuggets to to wake up and stop dreaming they can win a championship with the way this team currently is constructed.
  • My thoughts: I tend to agree with what Kiszla has to say about this Nuggets team. They’re very similar to a lot of the Nuggets teams I grew up watching, great offense, but no defense. And when it comes to crunch time, especially in the playoffs, you can’t think you’re just going to outscore teams.
    Yes, it will work sometimes. You might even be able to win a playoff series here or there, but making it to and then winning a championship is nearly impossible that way.
    Tim Connelly and company have done a remarkable job drafting and developing talent. Malone appears to have fostered a great team environment. But if this organization ever hopes to win an NBA championship it needs to start doing it with defense.
    The Golden State Warriors championship teams of the past few years were great offensive powerhouses, but they also were Top 5 defenses and that’s what made them so good.
    Until the Nuggets either embrace playing defense on an nightly basis or bring in a few top defenders to get the job done they’ll remain part of the NBA’s second class.
  • Nuggets-Jazz results and schedule
GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Utah leads best-of-seven series 3-1
DateTime (MT)Channels
Tue., Aug. 254:30 p.m.TNT, Altitude
*Thur., Aug. 272 p.m.ESPN, Altitude
Sat., Aug. 29TBDTNT, Altitude
*If necessary, all games played on neutral court in Orlando
Categories
Nuggets

Nuggets searching for answers after Game 3 pounding

In arguably their worst performance of not only this season, but the past few seasons the Nuggets were completely outmatched by the Jazz 124-87 on Friday afternoon in Orlando. With the win Utah leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.

After the game Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said “Our group has to be a lot more mentally tough.”

The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla went so far as to say Nikola Jokić was a joke and and without him the Nuggets have no shot in this series.

When asked why Jokić seemed so disengaged during the game Malone responded, “That would be a great question for Nikola.”

My thoughts: As bad as Game 3 was, it still is just one game of a seven-game series. If the Nuggets can rebound and win Sunday to tie things up at 2-2 it won’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things.

If however they continue to get obliterated for the rest of the series then serious questions will need to be asked. I tend to not read too much into things during this strange postseason.

The one thing I do wonder, is whether there possibly could be more going on with Will Barton than just a knee injury. He left the bubble this week and it feels like the team has fallen apart since he did so.

The two events could be unrelated, but it at least bears watching.

Nuggets-Jazz results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Utah leads best-of-seven series 2-1
DateTime (MT)Channels
Sun., Aug. 237 p.m.TNT, Altitude
Tue., Aug. 25TBDTBD, Altitude
*Thur., Aug. 27TBDTBD, Altitude
Sat., Aug. 29TBDTBD, Altitude
*If necessary, all games played on neutral court in Orlando
Categories
Nuggets

Nuggets look to right the ship in Game 3 vs. Jazz

The Nuggets take on the Jazz this afternoon at 2 p.m. (TNT, Altitude) in what could prove to be a pivotal Game 3 in the teams’ first-round series.

Utah likely will have starting point guard Mike Conley back for today’s game. Conley missed the first two games of the series after he left the NBA bubble in Orlando for the birth of his son.

Gary Harris remains out for Denver, but head coach Michael Malone is hopeful the shooting guard could return at some point during the opening-round series.

“I think he’s getting in a really good place mentally and physically and it would be great to get him back at some point in this series if that’s possible.

Malone said about Harris ahead of Game 3.
  • Nuggets guard Monte Morris talked about how some of the screens that Utah center Rudy Gobert sets are illegal.
    “He does a good job at setting screens,” Morris said. “I don’t think all of them are legal, so I mean, the ref can’t call all of them, but we gotta get into the ball and fight through them and not wait on what the ref’s going to do.”
  • TheAthletic’s Kendra Andrews wrote that the Nuggets defense has been an issue so far in the series and what Malone is doing to adjust going forward.
  • TheDNVR.com’s Adam Mares took a different approach, breaking down whether Denver can turn the series into an offense battle going forward.
  • Nuggets-Jazz first-round results and schedule
GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

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Nuggets try to stave off elimination vs. Jazz

After three straight losses to the Jazz the Nuggets are faced with the end of their season this afternoon (4:30 p.m., TNT, Altitude) unless they can figure out a way to slow down a Utah team that has scored at least 124 points in all four games of the series to date. To make matters […]

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