Nuggets coach Michael Malone ejected, held back vs. 76ers

Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone was ejected on Thursday night at Ball Arena, and had to be held back by Nikola Jokic briefly as he charged at the official who threw him out.

Malone, in the third quarter of their 103-89 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, got upset after 76ers guard Seth Curry picked up a foul on the floor under the rim.

Malone rushed out onto the floor, and had to be held back by Jokic after picking up two quick technicals before he finally walked off the court and into the locker room.

The Nuggets, after trailing by just six points at halftime, struggled the rest of the way in the third quarter — and Malone had seemingly been growing 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 tossed with more than half of the third quarter remaining, too.

By then, it was far too late to make a comeback. The 76ers rolled to the 14-point win with ease, which snapped a five-game losing skid.

“They came in and beat our ass,” Malone said after the game, via DNVR Sports’ Harrison Wind.

Jokic led the Nuggets with a near 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 in the fourth quarter, though Malone doesn’t believe it was due to any injury issue.

“He was worried about me,” Malone said jokingly, . “He came back to check on me, make sure I was alright.”

Will Barton added 19, and Monte Morris finished with 11. Those three were the only Nuggets to score in double figures, and the team shot just 36% from the field compared to nearly 51% from the 76ers.

Tyrese Maxey led Philadelphia with 22 points on the night while 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.

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone was ejected in the third quarter on Thursday night, and had to be held back by Nikola Jokic. (AP/David Zalubowski)

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