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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Coach Michael Malone knocks out in humble defeat to Nuggets’ 76ers

Michael Malone had intervened several times before on behalf of Nikola Jokic.

It was right that the MVP returned the favor.

Jokic charged Malone as Denver’s passionate coach on Thursday evening on behalf of an official, his frustration boiling over and getting the best of him.

The image may also have summarized the entire Nuggets squad as they were dropped by an underman and reeling 76ers team, 103-89. The humble defeat broke Philadelphia’s five-game losing streak and left the Sixers with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Danny Green and Matisse Thiboulée.

“I apologized to (assistant coach) David Edelman because after the toss was held, I was trying not to toss,” Malone said of his assistant, who took over coaching in his absence. “A lot of the things going on on the floor just didn’t make sense. I feel like I left David in trouble tonight.”

It also featured on the front-end of a back-to-back Chicago Bulls tour of Denver on Friday night. The Nuggets fell 9-6 on the season.

The defeat spoiled what could have been a special joke performance. He scored 27 points in the first half, but was restricted to just three in the second half. He added 10 rebounds and seven assists before running out and saved 4:23 in the fourth.

Jokic didn’t think respect was an issue.

“I think we did (get it right),” Jokic said. “We missed the guys too.”

His only help came from Will Barton, who returned on Thursday after losing two games with lower back pain. Barton added 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Barton described his injury as a “convulsion” and said he had never experienced anything like it before.

No other Nuggets player has had more than 11 points after Jokic and Barton.

“I wouldn’t say it was us watching them,” Malone said. “Did we play our own brand of basketball? No… Give them credit first. I think that team came here and stayed with us all night.”

Malone’s ejection from the third quarter may have been an attempt to shock his team’s malaise. It didn’t work out, as the Sixers finished with double digits, with Tyrese Maxi’s 22 and Seth Curry’s 20.

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“He’s really passionate, he’s into the game, and I love that,” Jokic said of Malone’s disapproval.

Frustrated by a non-call on an alleged offensive foul from Curry, Malone barked at the court before taking his first technical foul. With 6:04 left in the third quarter and the Nuggets down 70-61, Malone followed the court and immediately earned his second.

The Sixers took a 87-69 lead as they entered the fourth quarter under a barrage of 3-pointers.

Given Philadelphia’s lengthy injury reports and the Sixers’ long streak of defeat, Malone defended himself. Asked before the game whether those kinds of games frightened him the most, Malone smiled.

“Yes, they do,” he said. “I actually told my coaches a while back. And I try to say the same thing to my team. You can never judge a team that has lost five in a row without a bunch of their star players Ho because I said, ‘Guys, put yourself in their shoes. You’ve been there. When you get bogged down in Utah and you’re short on staff, you find a way to come out and there’s usually a lot of energy and Play with effort because you are proud.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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