Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 16 points to go along with nine rebounds in the 115-95 blowout loss. The poor performance of Denver’s starters led to Malone addressing the play of his starting five after the game.
“Our starters were awful,” Malone told reporters after the game via the New York Post. “I thought we had some guys that were tentative, that looked a little scared, who played soft… We’re going to have to be a lot better going home.”
The Blazers evened the series at 2-2 with the win.
In Game 4, the Nuggets’ starters were outscored 49-26. They also shot just 30% van die veld af, and they allowed the Trail Blazers to shoot 65% van die vloer af, volgens ESPN.
“The urgency has to be there. Maybe this will be a wake-up call for our starting group just to play harder,” Malone said. “Good things happen when we play hard, and we didn’t play anywhere close to hard enough tonight.”