“Hack-a-Looney worked perfectly for us!”: Head Coach Michael Malone talks about how the Nuggets clawed their way back in by fouling Kevon Looney

Warriors’ Kevon Looney fell victim to Michael Malone and his ‘Hack-a-Looney’ strategy, as the Nuggets secure a comeback win over the Warriors

The Denver Nuggets made their way to Chase Center to play the Golden State Warriors tonight. With both the teams playing their final games before the All-Star break, they both brought their A Games. The Dubs, after having led for most of the game, gave up the lead with 14.9 seconds left in the game. The Nuggets did not waste this opportunity and sealed the game with a buzzer-beater 3 to win it.

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For most of the game, it was a battle of the coaches, and who could make the best adjustments. It was a pretty head-to-head contest, till Michael Malone pulled up ahead in the final minutes. He did an excellent job of finding ways to stay in the game, and keep the Nuggets within striking distance. On the other hand, Steve Kerr made some questionable calls, that probably cost the Dubs the game.

“Hack-a-Looney was a desperation move, and it worked!”: Michael Malone

After the game, Nuggets’ Head Coach Michael Malone spoke with the media about one of the strategies they used to claw their way back in the game. With 2:50 left in the game, the Nuggets were down 111-103. Aaron Gordon went and fouled Kevon Looney in the frontcourt, sending him to the free-throw line. Looney had the lowest FT% among all the Dubs on the court, and the Nuggets took a chance. It worked well for them, as Looney missed both the attempts, which led to an Austin Rivers 3. Gordon once again quickly fouled Looney, who this time made both his FTs. After another possession, Nikola Jokic fouled Looney, who missed both his FTs yet again.

These three trips to the FT line cost the Dubs 3 possessions where Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, or someone else could’ve brought in points. Mike Malone talked about it post-game, and said,

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Well, I guess as old as ‘Hack-a-Shaq’ is, its renditions always seem to work for some or the other coach. The Nuggets go into the break with 5 wins over the last 6 games. They would like to continue their form, after this much-deserved time off.

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