Emmanuel Mudiay got the overhand pass from Darrell Arthur inbounding the ball with 3.1 seconds left. Mudi dribbled down the court for the shot, got the ball knocked out of his hands momentarily, recovered, and launched a prayer just as the clock expired. The ball left his hand with .1 second remaining and, against all odds, the ball went in to put the Nuggets ahead and give them a win.
The final score against the Philadelphia 76ers was 104-103, probably much closer than it should’ve been against a team that has only won three games on the road, but a win is a win and even bad teams can have good games.
The Nuggets started with some energy coming out of the gates on an 8-0 run, but later fell behind as the 76ers started to get hot. They went on a 17-0 run to take the lead and finished the first quarter with a big lead over the Nuggets of 35-24.
After a pretty dismal first quarter, the Nuggets found a unit with some of the energy they started the game with and started to play some great defense. Jusuf Nurkic was at the center of it all as he played great defensively, putting up 4 blocks in 16:06 before sitting with five fouls. That quarter was the only quarter the Nuggets outscored the 76ers in, but they outscored them by 19 points, allowing only 10 points on some great defense.
The second half was mostly filled with some good three shooting from the 76ers who shot 40.5% from beyond the arc on 15-37 shooting throughout the game. The good shooting was shared between multiple players and was the only reason Philadelphia competed until the end. Despite there continued shooting from three, the Nuggets just couldn’t seem to defend it as well as they should.
Emmanuel Mudiay had a terrific game as he put up a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds. But more importantly for Mudiay was his clutch (or lucky) three point shot to win the game. Even if it was a little bit of luck, Mudi has shown his ability to maintain calm with the game on the line and has played very well in the fourth quarter when it has mattered. A few missed layups late here and there have occurred, but he doesn’t let it phase him and has made multiple clutch threes and some great plays on defense throughout the year. The young rookie has plenty of room to grow, but that is only a testament to how high is ceiling is with how well he has played.
The other starters for the Nuggets played well also with both Gary Harris and other rookie Nikola Jokic scoring 18 points. Jokic also earned himself 5 assists and 8 rebounds.
The Nuggets with this win have matched their season total last year with ten games remaining on the schedule. The Nuggets will play the Los Angeles Lakers for Kobe’s final game against the Nuggets before he retires on Friday night.