The Nuggets’ 107-106 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday carried extra significance for Denver head coach Michael Malone.
Malone clinched the job as the coach of Team LeBron in the All-Star Game. His staff also will be on the bench for the Feb. 17 game in Charlotte, N.C.
The honor was due to go to the coach of the Western Conference team with the best record through the end of the Sunday games.
The win left Denver tied with the Golden State Warriors for the West’s best mark at 37-15, with both teams idle Sunday.
The first tiebreaker also was even, head-to-head meetings, with the Nuggets and Warriors each having defeated the other once this season.
The second tiebreaker was better intra-conference record, and there the Nuggets are 23-10 to the Warriors’ 22-10.
Malone, 48, is in his sixth season as an NBA head coach, and he appears to be headed to his first postseason in that span.
He produced a 39-67 mark while in charge of the Sacramento Kings from 2013-14 through early in the 2014-15 season. Malone got the Denver job before the 2015-16 season, and he has a 156-142 record with the Nuggets.
The roster for the All-Star squads, Team LeBron and Team Giannis, will be determined in a televised draft conducted by team captains LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.
In addition to their coaches, the Nuggets will have center Nikola Jokic as a first-time All-Star.