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Nuggets’ Malone: Critics ‘Were Quick to Write Us Off’ After Losing 2 Games vs. Wolves | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

Written by on May 13, 2024

David Berding/Getty Images

After the Denver Nuggets fell behind 2-0 in the Western Conference semifinals against the Minnesota Timberwolves, some believed the defending NBA champions were on their way to a disappointing playoff exit. However, head coach Michael Malone never lost faith in his team.

Malone’s faith was rewarded, as the Nuggets tied the series 2-2 with a pair of impressive performances, including Sunday’s 115-107 win in Game 4.

“Never underestimate the heart of a champion. They were quick to write us off, but these guys, we won a championship a year ago,” Malone told reporters after the game. “We went into Miami and won two games in a row. This team has been tested time and time again and we found a way to solve whatever’s been thrown at us.”

NBA TV @NBATV

“Never underestimate the heart of a champion. They were quick to write us off… This team has been tested time and time again and we found a way to solve whatever’s been thrown at us.” 🗣

Nuggets HC Michael Malone after regaining momentum in the series pic.twitter.com/mEyLmOPkH1

After being blown out 106-80 on its home floor in Game 2, Denver looked like a shell of the team that tore through the 2023 playoffs on its way to its first title in franchise history. Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray answered affirmatively when asked if the Game 2 loss was a wake-up call for the team, but he also echoed his coach’s sentiments that he never feared the worst.

Ohm Youngmisuk @NotoriousOHM

Jamal Murray on the belief the Nuggets had getting on the plane leaving Denver last week: “We’re the champs. We’ve been in this position before. I never had doubts.”

The Nuggets shot 57 percent from the field in Sunday’s victory. Three-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokić led the way with 35 points, while Aaron Gordon had 27 points and Murray added 19.

Despite the strong performance, Malone added that the team isn’t getting ahead of itself as it tries to achieve a second straight title.

“This series is a long way from being over, we’re not celebrating,” he said. “It’s 2-2, so now you have to find a way to win Game 5. But what I’ve found about our group is that they do believe in themselves, and more importantly, they believe in the man next to them. We have a group that is acting as you would hope a championship team would act.”

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