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Challenged by Michael Malone, young Nuggets neighbors talked through struggles and bounced back: “We knew that was on us”

When the Nuggets finally got home from a dreadful road trip, not everyone was ready to sleep it off.

Christian Braun, Peyton Watson and Julian Strawther are apartment neighbors. They hang out almost every day, usually congregating at Braun’s place. “It’s an open house,” he said.

In this situation, it was open invite. The Nuggets had just landed in Denver after nine days and a 1-4 record on the road. The three neighbors happen to be part of a second unit that had just been called out by coach Michael Malone. After a 105-86 loss to the Rockets, Malone told his team in the locker room that he planned to make changes to bench players’ minutes.