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Nuggets' three-game win streak clipped in Los Angeles

T.J. McBride Avatar
December 21, 2016

 

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The Denver Nuggets entered STAPLES Center looking to extend their season-long winning streak to four games and secure a statement win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Instead, lethargic basketball led to a 119-102 loss and the end to Denver’s three-game win streak.

The Nuggets began the first quarter playing tentatively and falling behind 30-14 early. Denver’s defense began to settle in and the Nuggets fought back to a ten point deficit of 36-26 at the end of the first quarter behind the energetic play off Will Barton off of the bench, who finished with a team-high 22 points five rebounds and two assists.

Behind a 9-2 run to start the second quarter, the Nuggets fought back to within three points from the strong bench playoff Barton and Kenneth Faried, who finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Danilo Gallinari joined in the scoring, finishing with 17 points five rebounds and two assists, and suddenly the Nuggets were able to trim the lead to just two.

The Clippers’ starters returned to the game and the intimidation factor of DeAndre Jordan stunted the Nuggets’ offense. Los Angeles took back the lead rapidly behind the hot shooting J.J. Reddick, who finished with 27 points on 7-9 shooting from beyond the arc and had 19 first-half points. The Nuggets went into halftime down 68-53.

The third quarter started the same as the second did; Jordan controlling the paint while the Nuggets starters failed to keep pace with the Clippers’ starting five. Jordan finished the game with 13 points, 13 rebounds and a blocked shot with so many more shots diverted and Los Angeles expanded their 15-point halftime lead behind the stellar play of Chris Paul, who finished with 16 points, 15 assists, and eight rebounds. The Nuggets went into the forth quarter down 23 to the tune of 95-72.

The final frame was nothing more than a formality. Both teams emptied their benches and outside of some pretty passing from Jamal Murray, who finished with eight points five rebonds and five assists, the game stayed the same as it was. The Nuggets lost 119-102 and fell to 12-17 on the year.

FOOTNOTES

Blake Griffin did not play due to the surgery he had performed on his right knee. He will be out 4-6 weeks and will miss the Dec. 26 meeting with the Nuggets as well.

For the fourth straight game, the Nuggets fielded a fully healthy roster.

WHERE/WHEN

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California | Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016

NUGGETS STAR OF THE GAME

Barton had one of his better overall games with 22 points on 9-15 shooting, and 5 rebounds in 32 minutes and was his usual bouncy self while acting as a secondary pick-and-roll ballhandler. Overall, a good game for Barton even during a blow-out loss.

BY THE NUMBERS

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PLAYS OF THE GAME

Jokic starts out the game with his first bucket.

Barton for three.

A three and transition layup for Murray.

Gallinari for three.

Barton with the strong floater.

Coast to coast dunk to end the half for Chandler.

Harris hits the three-pointer.

Nelson with back to back three-pointers.

Ferocious alley-oop from Murray to Barton in transition.

Jokic to Murray to Hernangomez for the bucket. Pretty passing from the three young Nuggets.

WHATS NEXT

The Nuggets come back home to take on the struggling Atlanta Hawks after two days off on Friday, Dec. 23 before heading back to Los Angeles to face the Clippers yet again the day after Christmas.

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