But there was work getting to this point of contentment. “After the game, just being very honest, very heartfelt when I apologized to them,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “I have to be better for them. One thing I always do is before I assign or cast any blame, I look at myself first. And I think the players respect that. So, I apologized for the whole thing with Blake (Griffin). I apologized (to Emmanuel Mudiay) for jumping him in that manner in a public forum.”
Said Mudiay: “It’s just both of us being competitors. It probably was my fault, I could have been doing a lot more. So I kind of put the blame on myself. I’ve got nothing against Coach, I respect him. He’s a great person, and I have all the respect in the world for him. Me and him are both competitive. We want to win. We hate losing. We’re on a four-game losing streak, something like that. It’s just us trying to win. At the same time, it’s over with. It’s on to the next game. It’s been like that my whole life. He’s just trying to challenge me, which I accept.”
“There is frustration on our end, having lost four games in a row now,” Malone said. “Just trying to find way to get a win. Winning is a great cure-all for anybody, like it was for (the Clippers) tonight, coming in having lost three in a row. So this is a very competitive game, guys are out there working hard trying to do their best, and sometimes emotions get involved. By no means is there an issue with Emmanuel or anybody else on this team. We are together, we are unified and we’re going to continue to fight to stay together to get this thing turned around.”
After DeAndre Jordan finished an alley-oop dunk and the Nuggets called a timeout, Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Denver head coach Michael Malone crossed paths and exchanged words. It’s unclear what was said, but it quickly escalated to the point that Malone yelled across the court at Griffin and had to be restrained by his players. Malone earned a technical foul. The score was 110-93 for the Clippers at that point, by the way.