West Notes: Nuggets, Jamal Murray, Kings, Warriors


The defending champion Nuggets have completed their sweep of the Heat in their two-game season series — a Finals rematch.Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets, NBA news

The latest came in Wednesday’s 100-88 win in Miami. Mostly, Denver is back in first in the oh-so-close Western Conference.

“If we can get (the No. 1 seed), sure, we’re going to take it,” coach Michael Malone told reporters. “And we’re not going to shy away from that. You know, it was very effective for us last year, having home-court throughout the entirety of the playoffs.”


The Kings have won seven of eight against the Lakers, including a four-game sweep this season.

The latest win was mostly the result of the Kings’ 10-2 burst to start the third quarter, enabling them to pull away from an otherwise close game.

“Especially in this league, being a team that can come out of halftime and be a great third-quarter team is huge for anybody,” point guard De’Aaron Fox told reporters. “Because you can be up or down and you can extend the lead or bring the lead back coming out of the half.”

This also marked Sacramento’s second straight convincing victory over a potential playoff team. The Kings blew out the Bucks on Tuesday.

“I don’t think we have a problem as a team getting up for big games,” forward Harrison Barnes said. “I don’t think that’s been our Achilles heel at all … We’re able to respond and get up for those games. Now, can we just maintain that consistency and that same focus throughout the rest of the league?”


The Warriors dropped to 1-2 since All-Star guard Stephen Curry went down with an ankle injury, the latest loss coming at the hands of the Mavericks on Wednesday.

It likely didn’t help that forward Draymond Green was a late scratch with a sore back.

“What Draymond does, he puts his impact on the game one way or the other,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Doesn’t matter. People get hurt, and you’ve got to respond.”

  • That said, Kerr suggested his happier with the way things have been going lately. “I like the team a lot better now than I did a couple of months ago where we were really sorting through things,” he said. “We have an identity. I think we’ll bounce back here, and I’m excited about the last part of the season.”

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