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KUSA - Brian Shaw called it.

The first year head coach felt that even if the Nuggets played up to their ability on a given night that it would still be tough to win games. He wasn't trying to motivate his team; it's just something he knows. Due to injuries - Shaw even had to fill in at practice because of the lack of available bodies - it would be a struggle for Denver to beat teams.

And he ended up being right.

"We talked about the fact that we have to play a perfect game just to give ourselves any chance of winning," Shaw said. The Suns rallied back to beat Denver 112-107. "Even with us competing the way that we did, even with our defense improving and playing better than it had been."

The first year head coach was pleased with the effort - which had been lacking leading up to the All-Star break. Shaw pointed to missed free throws (the Nuggets were 26-of-37) and rebounding (Phoenix got two critical offensive boards in the final minute to force overtime) for their loss fifth straight loss.

"Some of those other areas we were deficient in cost us," he confirmed.

Playing perfect isn't ideal for the Nuggets as they struggle to even stay in the playoff picture, but Shaw knows that's all they can hope for as they simply try to win games.

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