The surging Nuggets had already endured their fair share of injuries. Monday’s 93-89 loss to the Lakers cost them one more.
When guard P.J. Dozier left the game early in the fourth quarter due to right hip tightness, it stretched Denver’s thin backcourt even further, exposing the last thing the Nuggets needed as they prepared for their playoff push.
“I don’t know if this team is cursed,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said after the game. “We gotta bring in some kind of high priest to rid the team of any bad omens.”
Malone said Dozier was in good spirits but didn’t have any firm update on his status.
Despite the loss, which snapped the Nuggets’ five-game winning streak and dropped them to 43-22 on the season, Denver clinched a top-six playoff spot by virtue of Portland’s loss to Atlanta.
The Nuggets have seven more games remaining, beginning Wednesday vs. New York, to nail down their seeding.
Despite a 14-point deficit with 6:09 left in the fourth quarter, the Nuggets didn’t quit. Denver’s two-headed monster – Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. – made it interesting with numerous clutch baskets, but the Nuggets caught the tough end of a questionable offensive foul against Facundo Campazzo late. The whistle offset what would’ve been a 3-pointer from Porter that would’ve cut the margin to 89-88 with 2:06 remaining.
Replays showed Anthony Davis fall after a mild collision with Campazzo. Malone considered challenging the…