Nuggets assistant Popeye Jones won his first game as acting head coach on Saturday against the Rockets, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes. Jones was coaching in place of head coach Michael Malone and lead assistant David Adelman, both of whom entered health and safety protocols.
“I’m blessed to be a part of this organization,” Jones said after the game. “You come in as the only new guy, and guys are trying to get a feel for you. … To come into this culture, and all these guys are such good guys, man. They don’t complain, they work hard every day. Like I told them, ‘You established this culture. I’m blessed just to be a part of it.’”
Denver won the contest 124-111 behind Facundo Campazzo‘s 22 points, 12 assists and five steals. Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic also added 24 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Nuggets secure their third-straight victory.
There’s more from the Northwest Division tonight:
- The Trail Blazers have hired Rodney Billups as an assistant coach, the team announced in a press release. Billups is the younger brother of head coach Chauncey Billups, who joined the franchise last June. Portland owns the third-worst record in the West at 13-22 and has lost four straight games.
- Every championship contender will take a look at Thunder forward Kenrich Williams leading up to the trade deadline, ESPN’s Zach Lowe opines. Williams has averaged 6.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 20.8 minutes for Oklahoma City this season, shooting 46% from the floor and 41% from three-point range. He also shot 44% from deep last season.
- Nuggets two-way guard Markus Howard has hired new representation, choosing to sign with Octagon, the agency announced on social media (Twitter link). Howard will be represented by agents Josh Beauregard-Bell and Alex Saratsis. He’s averaged 4.3 points and 7.3 minutes in 16 games this season and is currently sidelined due to a knee injury.