Denver, CO – March 26, 2018 – As the NBA Playoffs get underway this week, it’s easy to forget the Denver Broncos just lost to the Golden State Warriors.
After winning the first two games of the playoffs, Denver came back in a close one in Game 4 on Sunday, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers by 21 points.
The Nuggets have now won four straight games in this series, the longest streak in the NBA.
Denver has played its last seven games at home, which was a factor as the Nuggets lost two of three games.
Denver is looking to go 9-0 in its past 10 games at The Pepsi Center, which includes a win over Golden State.
The win over the Cavaliers was the most impressive comeback win in the series thus far.
“We’ve just got to keep playing the way we have the last two weeks and hope to do better in the playoffs,” head coach Michael Malone said.
The Denver Nuggets are 9-1 in the postseason and will host the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the NBA playoffs on Sunday night.
The Hawks are 6-8 and have lost eight of nine games.
The first two meetings between the teams this season have been decided by seven points or less.
This year, the Nuggets have outscored the Hawks 23-8 in the paint and 17-6 in transition.
“I think we’ve got to continue to do that in the second half of the series,” Malone said of taking care of the ball.
“They’ve got the NBA’s best offensive defense, so if we continue to defend the ball, we’re going to have a lot of success.”
The Nuggets and Hawks have been separated in the standings all season and this is the first time in this postseason that the teams will meet in the finals.
The Broncos will have their hands full against the Atlanta team that has won five straight playoff series and is the reigning Western Conference champions.
The two teams are tied for the NBA record with the Denver Warriors for most consecutive postseason wins and also have been the NBA champs for a combined 13 straight seasons.
Denver will look to continue its dominance against the Hawks, who have lost seven of their last nine games, and is 2-1 against Atlanta.
The only other game that the Nuggets will have to face in the West is Sunday night’s Game 6 against the Utah Jazz at The Quicken Loans Arena.
The Jazz have won their last four games and are in the middle of a six-game road trip.
“The first three games are just a great opportunity to get the win,” Malone told reporters after Sunday’s win.
“That’s the key thing here, we just have to keep fighting.”
Denver will need to play better to keep up with the Hawks if it wants to stay in the playoff race.
Atlanta has won three of its last four series, but they have yet to win a playoff series against the Nuggets.
The last time Atlanta won a playoff game at The Q is in 2014, when the Hawks were eliminated in the conference finals.
Malone said it’s all about “the grind” in this competition and he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s going to be a challenge, it doesn’t matter who you are.
We’re going after the win every night.
We have to find a way to play the way they do,” Malone added.
The next matchup will be Game 7 of the Western Conference finals on Monday, March 27, in Atlanta.