Recap: Nuggets dismantle Clippers on national TV
The Denver Nuggets (25-13) demolish the Los Angeles Clippers (21-19) in dominant fashion, winning 122-91. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George did not register during the second half due to the loss of the double of their own score. The Nuggets starters also did not enter the game after 3:21 of the 3rd quarter. Denver went up by 44 points, allowed just 15 points in the first quarter and just 32 in the first half as well. The Nuggets have won the last 7 of 8 games against the Clippers.
Nikola Jokić finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists, all in just 24 minutes played. Jamal Murray led all players with 19 points, shot 4-5 from three, 7-10 from the field and scored 13 points right in the first quarter. Murray also only played 21 minutes. Vlatko Cancar finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, his first career double-double.
Nikola Jokić takes the lead and knocks down a layup after getting a steal for the first basket of the game. Aaron Gordon scores the next 6 points for the Nuggets, followed by 13 straight points from Jamal Murray. Denver held the Clippers to 4-21 shooting from the field and 1-11 on three-pointers in the first quarter. The Nuggets opened by shooting 50% from three and the field, but eventually cooled off and missed 5 shots in a row before Jamal Murray hit his third three of the quarter.
Denver’s offense flowed early, the Nuggets had 8 assists on their first 10 made baskets. Jokić exits with 2:00 left and with the Nuggets up 13, Zeke Nnaji enters in his place. Bones Hyland and Vlatko Cancar knock down 3-pointers of their own as Denver closes the quarter on a 12-2 run. The Clippers missed their last 7 shots and only scored on free throws in the final 3:58 of the quarter. Denver goes 32-15 after one.
Bruce Brown connects on his second 3-pointer of the game to start the quarter. The Nuggets were on absolute fire from three to start the game, going 7-13 in the first 15 minutes of the game. The Clippers put together 4 straight scoring possessions, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope knocks down back-to-back 3-pointers and the Nuggets don’t let off the gas. Vlatko Cancar lays down a dunk and the Nuggets are up by 27, more than double the Clippers’ lead at the time.
The Nuggets go on another 10-0 run with Jokić still on the bench, back in the game with the Nuggets up 20 with 5:41 left. The Clippers can’t get anything going offensively, shooting 2-21 from three and 11-41 in the first half. The Nuggets have their biggest lead of the season, 35 points. Bones Hyland knocks down three straight and the Nuggets continue their 19-0 run. Jokić had 7 assists in the half, the Clippers had 5 as a team. The Clippers scored 9 of their 17 points in the quarter in the final 3:38 of the quarter. The Nuggets reach the half by 34, 66-32.
The Clippers open the second half with all players on the bench. Both the Nuggets and Clippers make their first 2 shots after the break, and Jamal Murray knocks down another 3-pointer. After allowing back-to-back baskets and an alley-oop after a turnover, Coach Malone calls a timeout while trailing by 32. MPJ drains a 3-pointer and gets a tough finish to go to the rim. With 7 minutes left in the 3rd, the Nuggets made 10 more 3-pointers (13-22) than the Clippers (3-25) while shooting 3 fewer. The Nuggets go on another 11-0 run and MPJ delivers a big Joker lob.
Denver extends its lead to 40 points behind Jokić’s 7 straight points. The Clippers get some energy behind a Terrance Mann tomahawk dunk and go on a 6-0 run of their own, followed by another Coach Malone timeout. Zeke Nnaji grabs a great block and Bones Hyland ends the possession with a stunning acrobatic finish. Vlatko Cancar makes a 3-pointer to give the Nuggets 100 points with 45 seconds left. Denver enters the quarter up 102-59.
The Clippers still only have bench players on the court to start the quarter, scoring 6 of the first 8 points. Denver scores just 4 points in the first 3 minutes of the quarter and Coach Malone calls another timeout. Nnaji finishes a tough and-1 dunk after Davon Reed knocks down a three. The Nuggets reserves put the game away and maintained a solid effort throughout the game, even though it was over well before the final buzzer. Denver gets its first “Munder” of the season, holding the Clippers to just 90 points.
The Nuggets will face the Cleveland Cavaliers (25-14) returns to Ball Arena in less than 24 hours. With the way tonight’s game went, the Nuggets should be completely rested for tomorrow. The game starts at 7:00 and it looks like it will be exciting. Donovan Mitchell is averaging 33.5 points in his last 4 games, including a historic 71 point game.
PS: Happy birthday to Alex English
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