Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone defended his All-Star center by throwing shade at Patrick Beverley.
Despite Nikola Jokic putting up 32 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in Game 3 of their Western Conference Semifinals, the Los Angeles Clippers took a 2-1 series lead thanks to a 113-107 win Monday night.
Afterward, Beverley told reporters that Jokic does "a lot of flailing, you know, puts a lot of pressure on referees to make the right call."
Speaking to the media Tuesday, Malone dismissed Beverley's comments:
Beverley's comments stemmed in part because Clippers center Ivica Zubac, who was tasked with defending Jokic, fouled out in just 22 minutes. Beverley was the only L.A. starter to finish with a minus rating (-13) and ended up with seven points.
Malone did point out the free-throw disparity between the two teams in the game. The Nuggets were called for six more fouls (26) than the Clippers (20). Jokic only attempted four free throws in Game 3 and 10 in the series so far.
The Clippers were able to win after outscoring Denver 29-19 in the fourth quarter. The victory moved them two wins away from the franchise's first appearance in the Western Conference Finals.