Speaking to reporters after the defeat, Malone explained that a lackluster third quarter from the Nuggets was what primarily led to the unexpected defeat.
The Nuggets, down 11 with 2:53 left, charged back and cut it to 106-103 on a 3-pointer from Monte Morris, who returned after getting knocked in the face by his own teammate. Not only did the Nuggets start the season without free agent signee Isaiah Thomas, 2018 first round draft pick Michael Porter Jr and second round pick Jarred Vanderbilt, they've also been without Will Barton and Gary Harris recently suffered a hip injury that's been listed as day-to-day for the moment.
"Tony Parker made some tough shots on me down the stretch", Morris said. But the Nuggets have had success defensively with some of the league's best guards, notably Portland's Damian Lillard, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook and Toronto's Kyle Lowry. "I think all those things will come into tonight". Though the timeframe for how long he'll be sidelined hasn't been released, you've got to figure he'll be out for a while. Over the last three games, Collins is averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds.
"If Paul is unable to go tomorrow night that's an opportunity for somebody else", Nuggets coach Mike Malone said. "Their defense has really picked up this year".
"They've been huge for us all year", Williams said.
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In general, the praise for the Nuggets' defensive effort this season has been warranted. The Nuggets fell 113-107 Friday in Charlotte.
The Nuggets were in charge most the first half, especially in the first quarter as Jokic scored 15 points, but rookie guard Trae Young scored on a driving lineup with 8:28 to go in the third quarter to give the Hawks a 61-60 lead.
The Denver Nuggets can not escape the injury bug and the hits just keep on coming. Malik Beasley scored 16 points off Denver's bench on 4-10 shooting from three.
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