Emmanuel Mudiay hit a game-winning 3-pointer from halfcourt as time expired to give the Nuggets their 30th win of the season, and I can't believe I just typed that I mean is this even real life.
Mudiay finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists, but the biggest points of the game - and likely his career to this point - came on a double-clutch, how in the name of God did that actually just go in you've got to be kidding me hahahahahahahahahaha 3-pointer. Nikola Jokic had a nice game with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists, but Mudiay seriously made a game-winning basket to defeat the Sixers.
Winning - such a great feeling.
The Nuggets and the Sixers were back and forth throughout the fourth quarter, exchanging leads as neither team was able to pull ahead. The Nuggets would make a 3-pointer, and the Sixers would answer. The Nuggets would post up and get to the foul line, and the Sixers would get a jumper to fall.
A 8-0 run with less than three minutes remaining put the Sixers up by five points with one minute left, and things looked dicey for the Nuggets. The Nuggets forced a missed shot by the Sixers, and in the scramble for the loose ball, Mudiay dove to the floor, swiping the ball between a Sixers' players legs to help the Nuggets regain possession. Jokic was fouled, and made both his free throw attempts, and the Nuggets needed to get another stop.
Robert Covington missed a long 3-pointer, and the Nuggets called timeout. Once they were able to inbounds, Mudiay drove into the paint, drew contact, put a shot up, but it didn't fall, and the Nuggets had to foul twice before sending Covington to the free throw line again. He missed the first, but made the second, and then this happened.
There were other things that happened in this game, and I'll list them here briefly for those who were unable to attend or watch the game. I understand things were a bit snowy in Denver (my mom has been sending me all the pictures she can) so it's understandable if you missed it.
- first quarter - blech. Nuggets allowed the Sixers to score 35 points, the most points they've scored in the first quarter of a game all season. Their small-ball lineup tore up the Nuggets, and the bench was awful. Joffrey Lauvergne was a -15 in four minutes, and Malone benched him the rest of the game.
- second quarter - much better. Nuggets tightened up their defense, limiting the Sixers to 10 points and taking a lead into halftime. Jusuf Nurkic was a difference maker on defense, although he was rushing things on offense. His timing continues to be off, but that's something that he can improve in the offseason.
- third quarter - fatigue kicked in. The starters played longer than normal, but Gary Harris had a nice couple of plays, getting the ball in the basket. The offense went through Jokic in the post, and his ability to pass the ball opens up so many plays for them.
- fourth quarter - Nuggets won! Nothing else matters!