The Nuggets have been rolling since the trade winning five of their last six games. The Clippers were lost five games straight since the All-Star break, but got a big victory the other night when they beat the Rockets 106-103.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers (23-40) had the Denver Nuggets (37-27) come to town to square off for the final meeting of their four game season series. The Nuggets were leading the series 2-1, but with this win by the Clipps the season series is split with each team winning both games on their home floor.
The game opened with a Jordan dunk that set the tone for the Clippers in this opening quarter. Both teams battled as the there was tie after tie, but the Clippers always took the lead. A Williams’s 3-pointer gave them three point lead and the Clipps did not look back after that. Denver stayed close but could not take the lead or even get close enough to tie it up again.
Gordon was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer and made all his free-throws to give the Clipps a seven point lead with .27 seconds left. The Nuggets had a chance to score at the end of the period, but could not convert as the Clippers finished with a 23-30 lead.
Bledsoe pushed the Clippers lead to ten early when he jumper, but Felton responded with a layup to cut into it. Chris Kaman (6 points) and Foye both made jumpers back to back to push the Clippers lead to 11 making the score 36-25. An 11-2 run pushed the Clippers lead to 16 forcing the Nuggets to take a timeout.
Both teams struggled as the Nuggets only scored 15 points to the Clippers 18 points. Denver cut into the lead with a Martin tip-in and a Martin dunk and an Afflalo hit a 3-pointer to drop the Clipps lead to ten. Griffin hit a pair of free-throws to give the Clippers a ten point lead going into the halftime.
Los Angeles took a big blow in the second quarter when Eric Gordon (5 points) was knocked to the floor hard by Nuggets Timofey Mozgov. Gordon shot to the hole for a layup and Mozgov went for the block, but ended up knocking Gordon to floor hard. Gordon laid down for awhile. He was not able to shoot his free-throws so that made him automatically ineligible for the rest of the game.
Eric Bledsoe led the team in scoring off the bench with 20 points in 22 minutes. Blake Griffin had another double-double with 18 points with 12 rebounds, but was one assists away from a triple-double with nine. Mo Williams added 17 points and DeAndre Jordon chipped in with 10. Randy Foye came off the bench to score 13 points helping the bench score 46 of the teams 100 points.
Nene had a big game for the Nuggets with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Ty Lawson and Kenyon Martin both scored 11 points with Lawson adding eight assists. Denver did not get much help from their bench with only Raymond Felton scoring in double digits with 18 points with seven rebounds and six assists.
Nene cut the Clippers lead to eight with free-throws early, but the Clipps pushed it back to ten on a Ryan Gomes ( 4 points) jumper. Denver scored the next nine points to get behind the Clipps by one. A pair of Lawson free-throws tied the game up at 52, and the Nene gave the Nuggets a two point lead with a layup. Williams then hit back to back jumpers to give the Clipps the tie and the lead.
The teams battled down the stretch, but a 13-7 run for the Clippers gave them a nice lead going into the final period. Foye scored 11 points in that run with the other two coming from Griffin of a pair of free-throws.
Los Angeles opened scoring seven straight points with Al-Farouq Aminu (4 points) catching an alley-oop dunk with Bledsoe hitting a 3-pointer to give them a 13 point lead. Denver cut the lead down quick though when they went on a little run of their own getting the lead down to one with a Nene jumper. The Clippers held on to close out the game never allowing the Nuggets to get close.
Griffin threw an alley-oop dunk to Jordan that gave Los Angeles a 91-82 cushion with 3:40 left in the game. Bledsoe and Williams then sealed the game with 3-pointers with 2:40 to go in the game.
Los Angeles is now on a two game winning streak, but may have lost Gordon again for great amount of time with him re-injuring his wrist again.
Denver has now only lost for the second time in the ‘Post Melo Era’,and is still sitting nice in the Western Conference playoff picture.