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WASHINGTON — Unhappy could perchance presumably even be an underestimation to characterize Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone in his postgame press conference.

“We didn’t level to up,” Malone stated after the Nuggets, a contender within the Western Convention, misplaced to the Washington Wizards, a basement dweller within the East.

“That was embarrassing performance. We had a mindset that we are in a position to appropriate level to up and accumulate a sport on yarn of presumably a few of their starters were out. What took space tonight was precisely what the doctor ordered. I’m embarrassed, I in actuality am. We as a neighborhood, as a team, as a coaching workers, avid gamers, obtained our ass kicked tonight.”

The Wizards obtained 128-114 and scored no longer no longer up to 30 facets in all four quarters. They outrebounded the Nuggets 49-33, outscored them within the paint 72-52, had 26 second-likelihood facets and 92 bench facets — 92! — including a career-excessive 32 from guard Ish Smith.

Led by a career-excessive 32 PTS from Ish Smith, the @WashWizards bench combines for 92 within the house accumulate. pic.twitter.com/tx2nIVmRvq

— NBA (@NBA) January 5, 2020

The 92 facets are the second-most by a bench unit since these stats were tracked starting in 1970-71, in line with Elias Sports activities Bureau, and it took space appropriate days after Washington space a then-franchise anecdote with 80 bench facets against Miami.

“Take into yarn that,” Malone stated of the bench facets. “That’s a accurate quantity beautiful there. Embarrassing performance. Unacceptable. The total above.”

The diatribe persisted.

“We didn’t arrive with the merely mindset,” Malone stated. “Give them hundreds of credit score. All their avid gamers played at a level significant increased than we did. They were locked in, played laborious, certain, targeted, aggressive and we were your total reverse. Simply in actuality disappointing with the mindset and the focus and the methodology that we had to this sport and that begins with me.”

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Malone had concern discovering any silver lining within the loss to the 11-24 Wizards, who additionally beat Miami earlier within the week.

“We’re going to wish to peek at it and safe a neighborhood that is attractive to no longer no longer up to exit there and fight,” Malone stated. “I felt we had some guys accessible that were appropriate accessible. Didn’t impose their will. Didn’t impose their physicality, had no presence. … Ish had his methodology within the paint, performed. Most attention-grabbing participant on the bottom by a mile.”

Even knowing the Nuggets entered the game winners of 10 of their past 12 video games, Houston clobbered them 130-104 on Fresh 300 and sixty five days’s Eve in one loss, and Fresh Orleans beat Denver 112-110 within the replacement loss.

“Obviously, we now beget got to hunt down a technique to peek ourselves within the deem and be honest with ourselves, and I am hoping our avid gamers are attractive to develop that,” Malone stated.

Denver is 24-11 and tied for second space within the West.

“Our protection the final seven video games is bottom within the league,” Malone stated. “Tonight was but every other terrible performance. Now we beget guys that don’t rebound the ball. They appropriate stand there and deem and salvage outworked. Houston appropriate humbled us. Two video games later we desired to be humbled as soon as more?

“In fact that this is the NBA. I don’t care who plays. They’re professional avid gamers. All their avid gamers are taking part in for one thing. … The save was our resolve? The save was our fight? The save was our maturity when it involves drawing shut the game the beautiful methodology? You could perchance presumably perchance presumably talk about it, nonetheless on the quit of the day, it’s possible you’ll perchance presumably perchance like to be about it and we weren’t relating to the beautiful issues tonight.”

That was the quit of Malone’s news conference, and as he returned to the locker room, he performed, “Sorry you had to knowing that.”

Word Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.

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