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Nikola Jokic ejected as Clippers end Nuggets' four-game winning streak

Harrison Wind Avatar
December 23, 2018

With 6:38 remaining in the third quarter and Denver trailing 81-70, Nikola Jokic was ejected for arguing a foul call. He promptly hit the showers, taking whatever chances the Nuggets had at overcoming their double-digit deficit with him.

After Jokic’s dismissal — a rare straight ejection where Denver’s big man wasn’t assessed a technical foul before he was tossed — the Clippers opened up a 103-86 advantage at the quarter’s end and grew their lead to 20 points midway through the fourth. Los Angeles won going away 132-111, ending Denver’s four-game winning streak and sending the Nuggets into a three-day holiday break on a sour note.

The Nuggets’ lack of depth caught up to them in Southern California. Denver looked sluggish despite enjoying three days off in between their 126-118 over the Dallas Mavericks and Saturday’s loss. The Clipper’s bench, led by Montrezl Harrell (20 points, 10 assists) and Patrick Beverley (12 points), outplayed the Nuggets’ second unit and even some of their starting group. Los Angeles got to more loose balls than Denver, the Clippers outrebounded the Nuggets 56-37 and outclassed a depleted Mile High City group.

The 132 points were the most points that the Nuggets have given up this season, 80 of which came in the paint.

The Clippers shot 57.6 percent from the field and 10-20 from three. Tobias Harris and Danilo Gallinari scored 21 points apiece to lead Los Angeles.

Jokic tallied 19 points, six rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes before getting ejected. He still managed to lead the Nuggets in scoring for a sixth-straight game. Jamal Murray added 18 points on 6-16 shooting. Monte Morris (15 points, 5 assists), Trey Lyles (13 points on 5-8 shooting) and Malik Beasley (11 points, 5 steals) led Denver off the bench.

Denver travels to San Antonio to take on the Spurs on Wednesday.

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