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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Nuggets punish sluggish Sixers

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Jamal Murray scored 30 factors because the Denver Nuggets placed on a present for returning followers on Tuesday with a 104-95 defeat of the Japanese Convention-leading Philadelphia 76ers.

Murray’s haul included five-of-11 three-pointers in a one-sided victory for the Nuggets, who roared right into a 44-22 first-quarter lead at Denver’s Ball Area and by no means seemed again.

Murray added six rebounds, 4 assists and three steals whereas Nikola Jokic delivered a towering all-round show, with 21 factors, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.

Michael Porter Jr had 27 factors with 12 rebounds whereas Paul Millsap (10 factors) additionally chipped in with a double-digit efficiency off the bench.

Denver’s third-straight victory, which adopted wins over the in-form Atlanta Hawks on Sunday and the New Orleans Pelicans final week, leaves them in fifth place within the Western Convention with 29 wins and one loss.

The sport was watched by a crowd of simply over 4,000 followers, largely entrance line employees and first responders. It was the primary time followers have attended a Nuggets recreation because the coronavirus pandemic erupted final yr.

In on-court remarks following the win, Murray mentioned the assist had swept Denver to Tuesday’s victory.

“We missed you guys a lot,” he informed the gang. “You guys carry a complete completely different vitality to the sport. Each time the followers are within the constructing it will get to me, I get somewhat excited.

“After we’re into it and the gang’s into it, we’re a tough workforce to beat. We have not had a house court docket benefit in over a yr.”

Nuggets Coach Michael Malone, nonetheless, was sad that his workforce allowed the Sixers to creep inside six factors late within the fourth earlier than lastly pulling away.

“I am getting uninterested in watching us construct huge leads, play the proper approach, after which only for some cause calm down and permit the sport to turn out to be extra fascinating than it ought to have been,” Malone mentioned. “We’ve got to by some means develop a killer intuition.”

Jokic admitted the Nuggets’ focus had strayed in the direction of the tip of the sport.

“We did not have the main target to complete the sport,” he mentioned. “We thought it was going to be simple. We had a giant lead, and began taking part in free. We received the sport which is an important factor however we have to have higher focus.”

The Sixers in the meantime have been left reflecting on a second-straight loss following their 10-point defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers final week.

Australian star Ben Simmons was restricted to simply 11 factors whereas Tobias Harris added 12. Tyrese Maxey led the Sixers scoring with 13 factors from the bench.

“It was a type of video games the place it seemed like we have been operating in quicksand,” Sixers Coach Doc Rivers mentioned afterwards.

“They attacked us early and we by no means actually recovered from it.

“They have been higher ready and positively extra prepared as a gaggle. They have been higher. No excuses, we simply did not play very properly.”

Elsewhere on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Clippers noticed their six-game unbeaten streak halted with an upset house loss to the Orlando Magic.

Kawhi Leonard’s 28-point show was not sufficient to cease the Clippers from slumping to a 103-96 defeat in opposition to an Orlando aspect that relied on huge contributions from the bench, with Terrence Ross (15 factors), Otto Porter Jr (13) and Mo Bamba all making double figures.

In Arizona in the meantime, the Phoenix Suns have been 117-110 winners over the Atlanta Hawks.

Devin Booker completed with 21 factors for Phoenix whereas teammate Deandre Ayton had 13 factors and 14 rebounds.

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