Upon picking up a convincing 3-0 first-round series deficit over the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road this Friday, head coach Michael Malone aired a bold declaration on behalf of the Denver Nuggets.
“Up 3-0, our mindset right now is – no disrespect to the T-Wolves – this is about us, but we don’t want to go back to Denver [for Game 5] and our goal is to try to close this thing out,” said Malone after the 120-111 Denver victory. “It was an outstanding effort all the way around.”
No team has ever come back from a 3-0 series disadvantage in the whole history of the NBA Playoffs.
The Nuggets relied on the balance attack of their core units, as eight players produced eight or more points in the Game 3 dub. Nikola Jokic had his seventh triple-double of his career to lead the way with 20 points, 12 assists and 11 boards. Michael Porter Jr. also contributed well with his 25 points and nine boards, while Jamal Murray chipped in 18 markers and nine dimes.
Denver also shot a highly efficient 57.1 percent clip from the field and revolved the ball well with 32 collective assists.
Holding a commanding best-of-seven deficit and needing just one victory to advance, Malone is optimistic that his club will keep their foot on the gas pedal to finally land Minnesota to its basketball coffin this year.
“Proud of the group,” Malone said. “They handled their business like they’re supposed to, like mature teams do.”
The Nuggets will look to close it out on Sunday to finally advance to the Western Conference Semis for the fourth time in five years.