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Nuggets’ Mike Malone fires back at Clippers’ Patrick Beverley for Nikola Jokic comments

Mike Malone, Nikola Jokic, Patrick Beverley, Kawhi Leonard, Clippers, Nuggets

Things appear to be getting heated between Doc RiversLA Clippers and Mike Malone‘s Denver Nuggets, especially after Game 3 and some of the postgame comments made by Patrick Beverley on Nikola Jokic.

Following the Clippers’ 113-107 victory to take aa 2-1 series lead, Clippers guard Patrick Beverley was asked about the difficulties are defending Nikola Jokic and the job that Ivica Zubac did on the Nuggets big man.

“Jokic presents the same type of — I don’t know, I wouldn’t say problems — but he presents the same thing Doncic presents, Luka presents, a lot of flailing,” Beverley added. “You know, puts a lot of pressure on the referees to make the right call. I think Zu did a hell of a job. He used all his six fouls, he did what he needed to do. Got one big dunk at the end. Big free throws at the end. We got a win. I think that’s the most important part.”

In his pre-practice media availability on Tuesday, Nuggets coach Mike Malone was asked about the comments made by Beverley about his star player. Let’s just say Malone didn’t hold back.

“I don’t listen to Patrick Beverley a whole lot,” Malone responded. “If Kawhi Leonard was talking, maybe I might listen to it. Kawhi’s a great player. But all you’ve gotta do is look at the stat sheet. Zubac attempted more free throws than Nikola Jokic. They shot 26 free throws, we shot 10, so I’m not really sure what game Pat Bev is talking about or looking at, but I really don’t warrant and give too much attention to that.”

Phew, we’ve got fireworks in the second round of the bubble!

Mike Malone is smarter than to equate free throw shooting to fouls drawn. While he points to the stat sheet to try and prove his point, he neglected to offer the stat that no player drew more fouls in Game 3 than Jokic. It’s no coincidence that the three Clippers’ big men totaled 11 fouls, six of which went to Ivica Zubac.

The Clippers and Dallas Mavericks also got into it more than a handful of times both on the court and in postgame press conference comments. LA just gets under everybody’s skin thanks to their very physical game and the number of agitators they’ve got on their team.

Nikola Jokic went for 32 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists in 39 minutes of play in Game 3, but it wasn’t enough to lead Denver to a win. Patrick Beverley, who is still on a minutes restriction after coming off a re-aggravated calf strain finished with seven points, four rebounds, and three assists in 21 minutes of play.

Game 4 is on Wednesday night, where the Clippers will try to take a commanding 3-1 lead and the Nuggets will try to tie the series at two games apiece.