Nikola Jokic’s knee problem was so bad after Game 2 that he put a protective brace on the injury, but after surgery early last week and six more days to recover, he still wanted to play in Game 3 against the Houston Rockets, so the Nuggets could even the series.
But, “he knows he has to be careful, but he’s trying to play through it and try to help us win,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “He’s really determined.”
The Nuggets won 101-83 on Sunday to even the best-of-seven Western Conference finals at two games apiece, and Game 4 is Wednesday night at home.
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Jokic had 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists on Sunday.
• “It’s not really about going home. We know the Lakers are a great team and I’m sure they will win,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “But for us, the most important thing is getting past that first round and we’ve done that, and all these other guys are just worried about getting to the next round.”
D’Antoni’s fiery demeanor on the sidelines can make him seem like he’s yelling orders at players but in reality, he’s coaching them about basketball. “I’m just telling them what they’re supposed to do,” D’Antoni said. “It’s basketball. Do what you’re supposed to do.”