Nuggets seek key win against short-handed Pistons

The Denver Nuggets have actually protected home-court benefit in the preliminary of the upcoming NBA playoffs.

However Denver still might enhance its seeding with 2 video games left and will attempt to do so when it takes a trip to Detroit to deal with the Pistons on Friday night.

The Nuggets (46-24), who are 4th in the Western Conference, beat Minnesota 114-103 on Thursday as Nikola Jokic scored 31 points and took down 14 rebounds to assist Denver win its 2nd in a row and remain within one video game of the third-place Los Angeles Clippers.

The Pistons (20-50) have actually lost 3 in a row and 10 of their previous 12 following a 119-100 loss to the Timberwolves on Tuesday.

Denver developed its size benefit early versus the Timberwolves with Jokic and JaVale McGee, who ended up with 12 points and 13 rebounds. It was the very first time the 2 begun together, offering the Nuggets another appearance they can carry out as they get ready for the playoffs.

“I think we can go with a lot of different options,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone stated. “As we approach the playoffs with now two games to go, we can try some more different things.”

Jokic set the tone for Denver with 16 points in the very first quarter as he and McGee integrated for 27 rebounds.

“I definitely think this could be a lineup in the future, especially with teams that play two bigs,” McGee stated. “I definitely feel like it gives Joke definitely some time off his legs on the defensive end.”

The Pistons extended coach Dwane Casey through the 2023-24 season today. Detroit owner Tom Gores has actually been happy with Casey’s management throughout a hard, reconstructing season.

Casey, 64, is 81-137 in 3 seasons with the Pistons. Prior to training Detroit, Casey was the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2017 with the Toronto Raptors.

“Dwane’s ability to adapt and lead us through a challenging but very exciting year of growth and development has further established his place as one of the most highly respected coaches in the NBA,” Gores stated in a declaration launched Wednesday. “He is fully committed to the restoration of the Pistons where his competitiveness, teaching ability and developmental acumen can be seen in the growth of our young players.”

Among the appealing gamers of the Pistons’ restore is novice Saddiq Bey, who scored 21 points versus Minnesota. However a season-high 28 turnovers resulted in 34 Wolves points.

Detroit had 9 gamers offered.

“You can’t win a basketball game when you turn the ball over 28 times,” Bey stated. “It doesn’t matter what else you are doing, that’s going to cost you the game.”

For the Nuggets, Monte Morris remained versus Minnesota one video game after returning from a 12-game lack due to an ideal hamstring stress. Michael Porter Jr. was likewise offered the night off. Will Barton (best hamstring stress) and PJ Dozier (best adductor stress) stay out and Malone does not anticipate them back prior to completion of the season.

Detroit will be shorthanded once again as Wayne Ellington (bilateral calf stress), Jerami Grant (best knee discomfort), Frank Jackson (best ankle sprain), Cory Joseph (left ankle discomfort), Rodney McGruder (best elbow sprain), Dennis Smith Jr. (left knee discomfort), Mason Plumlee (rest) and Isaiah Stewart (individual factors) are out. Hamidou Diallo is noted as doubtful due to health and wellness procedures.

–Field Level Media

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.