The five teams still able to realistically change their potential seed are the Bucks, Heat, Wizards, Pacers, and Cavs, ranking 8-3 in that order. However, the 20,000-plus fans in attendance at the Wells Fargo Center were not anxious about the playoffs or playoff seeding. Chants of "Fultz" rang out proudly through the Wells Fargo Center, and after taking his exit early in the fourth, the fans demanded an encore from the first overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft, a request that Brett Brown gleefully accepted. Late in the game, fans started to cheer "We want Fultz!"
But no. It was all for him.
But on Monday against Denver, for 14 minutes of game action, all of that was swept away.
Fultz, who was an offensive force in his one season at the University of Washington, hit nine of his 27 shots in four games with the Sixers, averaging 6.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.5 steals in 19.0 minutes.
Perhaps trying to force his shot too much, Fultz also had two shots blocked on the same possession. "It's been fluid and you know I get goosebumps telling you all that".
"I've been giving him the ball [in practice]", said Brown, "he's getting up and down the floor, he's elite in open court". Redick to Embiid, the people around Fultz praised his effort and defended him when necessary. I give that kid credit. In less than 11 minutes, Burke poured in 16 points on seven makes and powered the Knicks to a 35-point period, and they actually held a 117-114 lead with 40.6 seconds left after Tim Hardaway Jr. made a three.
Nuggets: Denver scored only 15 points in the third and blew an eight-point halftime lead. "Today, I felt something good with the performance he has been having in practices and some workouts".
He is now 20 points shy of breaking Dell Curry's franchise scoring record and is in position to do so at home on Wednesday against LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers.
Joel Embiid had 20 points and 13 rebounds, including perhaps his dunk of the season on a one-handed jam over Paul Millsap while Dario Saric added 20 points. J.J. Reddick chipped in 19, and Robert Covington added 18 points.
Barton scored 20 points in the first half for the Nuggets as they established an eight-point lead at the break. Asked why he decided to make his return Monday, Fultz said "I just felt good". "I think it's going to be easier for him to impact the game with the ball in open court, it's going to be tough territory initially chasing those guards around in National Basketball Association movement and speed and sets, that's going to be a foreign experience for him".
The loss drops the Nuggets to 1.5 games behind Minnesota for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.