Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone was ejected Thursday night at Ball Arena, and was to be held by Nikola Jokic briefly while he charged the official who ejected him.
Malone, in the third quarter of their 103-89 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, became agitated after 76ers guard Seth Curry picked up a foul on the floor below the edge.
Malone ran out on the floor, and had to be held back by Jokic after picking up two quick techniques before he finally walked off the court and into the locker room.
The Nuggets, after staying just six points at halftime, struggled the rest of the way in the third quarter – and Malone apparently grew more and more frustrated before he was ejected.
Denver managed just 17 points in the third, and entered the final period down 18. The Nuggets only made a single field goal after Malone was thrown with more than half of the third quarter remaining, as well.
Then, it was far too late to return. The 76ers rolled to the 14-point win with ease, which broke a five-game losing slip.
“They came in and beat our ass,” Malone said after the game, by Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports.
Jokic led the Nuggets with an almost triple-double, finishing with 30 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists – though 27 of his points came in the first half. He left the court with about four minutes left of the fourth quarter, though Malone does not believe it was due to any injury issue.
Will Barton added 19, and Monte Morris finished with 11. Those three were the only Nuggets to win in double figures, and the team shot just 36% of the field compared to nearly 51% of the 76ers.
Tyrese Maxey led Philadelphia with 22 points overnight shooting 9-of-15 from the field. Curry finished with 20 points, and Tobias Harris added 17 points with seven rebounds. The 76ers were short Joel Embiid, Danny Green and Matisse Thybulle, along with Ben Simmons – who has yet to play this season.