Malone slams Nuggets' effort after blowing 4th-quarter lead vs. Heat
Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone held nothing back after his club squandered an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 111-108 Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat.
"This is the NBA Finals and we're talking about effort. That's a huge concern of mine," Malone told reporters postgame.
Malone added: "Miami came in here and outworked us. And we were by far our least disciplined game of these ... 17 playoff games. So many breakdowns, and they exploited every one of those breakdowns and scored."
The Heat jumped out to a 21-10 start in the opening quarter before the Nuggets responded to take a six-point lead into halftime.
After a tightly contested third quarter, Miami opened the final frame with a 15-2 run. Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson was instrumental in the Heat's comeback, scoring all 10 of his points during that span.
Jimmy Butler took over from there with eight points down the stretch as Miami held off a monstrous 41-point effort from Nikola Jokic to even the Finals at one game apiece.
The Heat were more efficient offensively, shooting nearly 50% from the field overall, including 17-of-35 from downtown. Their 68.8% field-goal percentage in the fourth quarter was the third-highest in the final frame of a Finals contest in the last 25 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
They also had 20 attempts from the charity stripe in Game 2 after registering an NBA-record playoff-low two free throws in the previous affair.
The Finals resume Wednesday evening in Miami.