NBA

Malone encourages Nuggets to enjoy the wins but he won't 'party and celebrate' after Clippers rout

By Sports Desk January 06, 2023

Michael Malone will always allow his Denver Nuggets team to enjoy the wins but said "I'm not going to party and celebrate" after a rout of the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

Jamal Murray top scored with 18 points as the high-flying Nuggets ran out 122-91 winners at Ball Arena to improve to 25-13 on the season and 15-3 on home court.

It was another statement victory in a season full of excellent performance and leaves the Nuggets top of the Western Conference, with an identical record to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Head coach Malone encouraged his players to enjoy the moment, while also emphasising there is plenty of work still to be done.

"I've been around people who would not allow themselves to enjoy the wins, to enjoy the moment. I'm not that guy," Malone said.

"But I'm also not going to party and celebrate.

"That was a hell of a win for us. A convincing win, from beginning to end. Everybody contributed. 

"We're in first place in the Western Conference. We're not there yet. But we're on our way. I like where we're at and, more importantly, I like who I'm going there with."

Murray scored 13 of his 18 points in a blistering first quarter and it was a welcome performance considering his hit-and-miss form since returning from an ACL injury that ruled him out of last season.

Following a 124-111 defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves last time out, Malone said with Murray on the plan ride home for a heart-to-heart.

"He takes ownership. He has to help himself as well," Malone said of Murray.

Murray added that the win shows the level the Nuggets have to aspire to on a consistent performance.

He said: "Wins like this give us a lot of confidence and build a lot of chemistry. Sets a standard for us."

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