Bulls handed Nuggets third straight loss after the Zach LaVine outbreak – The Denver Publish

The Ball Arena got loud on Friday night, raising hopes that Denver might be a basketball city after all.

It just wasn’t clear whose basketball town was after Bulls fans invaded Denver and left with a satisfying 114-108 win.

“I wasn’t sure whether we were at the United Center or the Ball Arena,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone after the game.

Without playing MVP Nikola Jokic, who missed Friday’s game with a wrist injury, the nuggets scrapped and clawed to give the Bulls all they had.

Aaron Gordon broke out for 28 points and Will Barton added 23. Barton’s corner 3 pointer with: 29 seconds remaining temporarily reduced the gap to 110-108, but the nuggets fell to an attack by Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.

LaVine scored 12 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter and even swapped baskets with Denver’s reserve energy dispenser Facu Campazzo once.

The spirited Argentine took 16 points and four threes from the bench, but it wasn’t enough.

“I loved how hard we played,” said Malone. “It (stinks) to lose three games in a row, but I like the group this city represents.”

Chicago smashed the paint for 50 points and had an 18-8 lead on second chance opportunities.

It was Chicago’s first Denver win since February 2006.

The nuggets did what they could with those who had them. With 9: 7 in the season it was the third loss in a row for Denver. They are going to try to catch Streak Sunday at Phoenix.

Jokic was dressed in a light brown suit and was watching him from the sidelines as he was unable to physically help his squad. But Jokic and Jamal Murray were so committed that the duo could have been mistaken for assistant coaches. Both shouted defensive cover, joked with officials and kicked off the bank.

For a few unsettling minutes in the third quarter, the Bulls fanatic’s energy threatened to overtake the Ball Arena. Encouraged by defenses from Alex Caruso and thunderous jams from LaVine and Derrick Jones Jr., it rained cheers in favor of the visiting team. The Bulls extended their lead to 12 before the Nuggets responded.

Three back-to-back threesomes from PJ Dozier and Bones Hyland gave Denver life, and the crowd swayed back in the direction of the Nuggets. But the Bulls took another chance of the second chance two seconds before the end in the third and used a deflationary 3-pointer. After Chicago lost 35 points in the quarter, Chicago was in the lead with 88:78 and went into fourth.

As ugly as the Thursday night loss to Philadelphia was, Malone didn’t want to be on deck with the Bulls during the loss. He immediately turned the page to focus on Chicago’s new and improved staff.

“All I can hope for (Friday) is that if we go out here we can hold our heads up like we did and we couldn’t (Thursday),” Malone said ahead of the game. “That was probably the most annoying thing about last night’s game. It wasn’t that we lost. That is how we lost. “

Malone’s respect for what the Bulls, led by former Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas, have built was deep.

“I met (Bulls manager) Billy Donovan in Vegas during the Summer League,” said Malone. “I love Billi. We are from the same neighborhood in New York years ago. He said, “Arturas says yes, it’s all up to you now, Billy. I got you the players, now you have to win. ‘ I love Arturas, his family. He’s doing a damn good job in Chicago. “

Malone granted his wish. The Nuggets played the first half on Friday evening with refreshing energy and determination and went back to half time at 53:52.

Led by the offensive style of play of Barton and Gordon, who each had 13 points in the first half, the Nuggets kept up with Chicago’s firepower. Barton registered a highlight reel and finish, and Gordon relied heavily on his physicality to build a presence inside.

Though LaVine found his kinks and the Bulls’ bench enjoyed a healthy 20-8 lead early on, the Nuggets struggled defensively to stay tight.

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