Coach Michael Malone ejected in Nuggets’ humiliating loss to 76ers – The Denver Post

Michael Malone has repeatedly intervened on behalf of Nikola Jokic.

It was right for the MVP to return the favor.

Jokic held Malone while the Denver fire coach attacked on an official Thursday evening, his frustration boiling and getting the best of him.

The picture could also have summed up the entire Nuggets squad as they were dropped by an inadequate and faltering team of 76ers, 103-89. The humiliating loss broke Philadelphia’s five-game losing streak and came with the Sixers missing Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Danny Green and Matisse Thybulle.

“I apologized to (assistant coach) David Adelman because being thrown out, I wasn’t trying to be thrown out,” Malone said of his assistant, who assumed coaching duties in his absence. “I just didn’t understand a lot of things that were happening on the floor. I feel like I left David in a difficult place tonight. “

It also came at the front of back-to-back, with the growing Chicago Bulls visiting Denver on Friday night. The Nuggets fell to 9-6 over the season.

The failure ruined what could have been a special Jokic performance. He poured 27 points in the first half, but was limited to just three in the second half. He added 10 rebounds and seven assists before coming out with 4:23 left in the fourth.

The only help he received came from Will Barton, who returned Thursday after missing two games with low back pain. Barton added 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

No other Nuggets player was over 11.

Malone’s third-quarter ejection may have been an attempt to shake the malaise out of his team. It didn’t work, as six Sixers finished with two figures led by 22 from Tyrese Maxey and 20 from Seth Curry.

“I wouldn’t say we overlook them,” Malone said. “Did we play our brand of basketball? No … First, give them credit. I think that team came here and had us on their heels all night. “

Philadelphia finished with 52 points in the paint compared to Denver’s 38.

Annoyed by a nephew on Curry’s perceived offensive foul, Malone barked across the court before he picked up his first technical foul. With 6:04 left of the third quarter and the Nuggets down 70-61, Malone stalked the court and immediately won his second.

The Sixers extended the lead to 87-69 entering the fourth quarter under a bombardment of 3-pointers.

Based on Philadelphia’s lengthy injury report and the Sixers ’extended losing streak, Malone had his guard up. Asked before the game if those kinds of games scared him the most, Malone smiled.

“Yes, they do,” he said. “I actually told that to my coaches some time ago. And I try to say the same to our team. You can never judge a team that has lost five in a row that is without a bunch of their star players because I said, ‘And, put yourself in their shoes. You were there. When you are blown up in Utah and you are insufficient, you find a way out and usually play with great energy and effort because you have pride. ‘

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