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Nuggets, coach Malone agree to contract extension

With their 50th season set to begin, the Denver Nuggets made sure their coach over the past three seasons is staying put.

The Nuggets announced today that they have agreed to a contract extension with coach Michael Malone. In his time with the Nuggets, Malone has amassed a 119-127 record, but has increased Denver’s win total each season (from 33 wins in 2015-16 to 46 wins last season).

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Malone’s extension adds two years to his current deal, which was entering its final season. Denver’s 46 wins last season were its most since 2012-13, when the Nuggets won 57 games.

Before being hired by Denver, Malone was coach of the Sacramento Kings from 2013-14 to December of 2014. He was let go by the Kings after an 11-13 start to the 2014-15 season and, overall, was 39-67 in his time with the Kings.

In Denver, Malone has played a key role in the rise of center Nikola Jokic, who has become a borderline All-Star. Jokic set career-highs in scoring (18.5 points per game), rebounding (10.7 rebounds per game) and assists (6.1 assists per game) last season. He finished with 10 triple-doubles last season, the fourth-most in the NBA and the most among centers.

The Nuggets went 8-3 in their last 11 games of 2017-18 and 6-1 in their final seven games. However, Denver missed out on the playoffs in 2018 after falling in a win-or-go-home game to the Minnesota Timberwolves on the season’s final night.