DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Nuggets returned home on Sunday after being eliminated from the NBA Playoffs in their 117-107 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals on Saturday night. The team tweeted a video showing center Nikola Jokic and other players getting off the plane and greeting family members.

Some relatives and friends carried signs saying things like “We Missed You.”

The Nuggets had come back from 3-1 down in the first two rounds before being finally ousted a month since they would have departed the bubble had they lost the first time they faced elimination, in Game 5 against Utah on Aug. 25.

“It’s not the end goal but to make it as far and surprise as many people as we did, it’s a good feeling,” guard Jamal Murray said. “So, try to come back next year and try to come back stronger.”

Saturday marked more than 80 days spent in the NBA’s bubble in Orlando for coach Michael Malone. He said before departure he thinks the Nuggets are headed in the right direction as a team and he hoped their Florida experience — which came so close to ending much earlier than this — would last few weeks longer.

“But when I think about this whole experience, as crazy as it sounds — and it’s been hard being away from family — being with the players and staff and the front office, everyone that’s here, has made this a lot easier than I imagine it could be otherwise,” Malone said.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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