Two nights ago, the Denver Nuggets were riding high after winning their third consecutive game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They had taken a 3-2 series lead and had Game 6 in their sights to close out the series. Despite the big win, they would be slapped with a harsh reality check and suffered a blowout 115-70 loss in Game 6. Instead of closing out the Timberwolves, there will now be a Game 7 in Denver to decide the winner of the series.

In his postgame press conference, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone did not mince his words. He said that at halftime, he explained to his team why they were getting embarrassed.

“I said the reason why we are getting our ass kicked is we are not taking care of the ball,” Malone said. “You're not rebounding, and we're playing with no physicality and no toughness. They hit us first, they hit us second, they hit us third. So give them credit. They did what they needed to do to keep this series alive and bring it back to Denver for a Game 7.”

Ultimately, the Nuggets were outrebounded by the Timberwolves, 62-43. On top of no physicality in the paint, the Nuggets struggled to get their shots to land. They would shoot a woeful 30.2% from the field and 19.4% from 3-point range.

A miserable Game 6 for Jamal Murray and the Nuggets

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) shoots against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second quarter during game six of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Murray, who plays a large part in the Nuggets' success, had a poor outing in Game 6. Murray shot 4-for-18 from the field and 2-for-7 from 3-point range. Frustration definitely was building up for Murray, as he was struggling to hit some easy layups as well.

For the majority of the Nuggets season, Murray has been battling various injuries and ailments. Most recently he's dealt with a left calf strain that he sustained in the first-round series versus the Los Angeles Lakers. To make matters worse, it was revealed after Game 6 that Murray sustained an elbow injury mid-game.

After the game, Murray told reporters that trainers put numbing cream on his injury so that he wouldn't feel it when it was fully extended. Nonetheless, the injury did end up hindering his performance. However, he didn't make any excuses for himself.

“I was never really getting into my rhythm again,” said Murray. “And my team obviously needed me to tonight, and I didn't. So I'm disappointed in myself for not being able to give them the right production that I know I can.”

The Nuggets will have two days off before the next game. Murray does remain hopeful that his elbow will feel better for Game 7.

Defensively, the Nuggets had no answer for the Timberwolves. Murray even echoed Malone's comments about the Nuggets' lack of physicality.

“We’ve just gotta be more physical. Own our spots. Early help. Rotating, communicating. I think that’s the biggest thing,” said Murray. “Every game during the season, you’re going to struggle offensively. But can you stop the other team from scoring when you’re doing so? I think that’s our biggest challenge, right? Just getting stops. And run-outs. Just playing at our pace that we want to play at.”