Recap: Dismantling the Nuggets Clippers on National TV

the Denver Nuggets (25-13) Take down Los Angeles Clippers (21-19) in dominant fashion, winning 122-91. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both didn’t check in during the second half due to their own poor scoring. The Nuggets’ starters didn’t get into the game after the 3:21 mark of the third quarter, either. Denver went up by as much as 44 points, and they only allowed 15 points in the first quarter and only 32 points in the first half as well. The Nuggets have so far won their last 7 of their 8 games against the Clippers.

Nikola Jokic finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists, all in just 24 minutes. Jamal Murray led all players with 19 points, shot 4-5 from three, 7-10 from the field, and scored just 13 points in the first quarter. Murray also played only 21 minutes. Vlatko Kankar finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, his career-high double-double.

First Quarter:

Nikola Jokic wins the sum and takes a corner kick after grabbing the first basket of the game. Then Aaron Gordon scored the next six points for the Nuggets, followed by Jamal Murray’s 13 straight points. The Denver Clippers held a score of 4-21 shooting from the field and 1-11 shooting from three in the first quarter. The Nuggets opened shooting 50% from three and from the field, but eventually calmed down and lost 5 straight shots before Jamal Murray made his third of the quarter.

Denver’s offense was pouring early, and the Nuggets had 8 assists in their first 10 baskets made. Jokic is out with 2:00 left, and with the Nuggets leading by 13, Zeke Nagy comes in for him. Bones defeated Highland and Flatko Kankar with 3-pointers of their own as Denver closed out the quarterfinals in a 12-2 tie. The Clippers missed their final seven shots and only scored free throws in the last 3:58 of the quarter. Denver is up 32-15 after one.

Second Quarter:

Bruce Brown connected on his second three-pointer of the game to start the quarter. The Nuggets were absolutely burning from three to start, shooting 7-13 in the first 15 minutes of the game. The Clippers racked up 4 straight scoring possessions, but Kentavious Caldwell Pope hit back-to-back 3-pointers and the Nuggets never let go of the throttle. Vlatko Cancar threw a dunk and the Nuggets are up by 27, more than double the Clippers’ score at the time.

The Nuggets go on another 10-0 run with Jokić still on the bench, and get back into the game with the Nuggets with 20 and 5:41 to go. The Clippers could get nowhere on offense, shooting 2-21 from three and 11-41 at halftime. The Nuggets have their biggest lead of the season, 35 points. Bones knocks Highland three straight and the Nuggets go on a 19-0 run. Jokic had 7 assists in the half, while the Clippers had 5 as a team. The Clippers scored 9 of their 17 points in the final quarter at 3:38 into the quarter. The Nuggets go into halftime up 34, 66-32.

Third quarter:

The Clippers opened the second half with all players on the bench. The Nuggets and Clippers each score their first two shots after halftime, and Jamal Murray hits another three-pointer. After allowing back-to-back baskets and an alley after a turnover, Coach Malone calls a timeout while up by 32. MPJ drains a three-pointer and gets a tough end to go at the rim. With 7 minutes left in the 3rd, the Nuggets hit 10 times more (13-22) than the Clippers (3-25) while shooting 3 fewer times. The Nuggets go on for another 11-0 run and MPJ gets a huge kick from the Joker.

Denver extends its lead to 40 points behind 7 straight points from Jokic. The Clippers get some energy behind the Terrance Mann tomahawk dunk and go on a 6-0 run of their own, followed by another coach Malone timeout. Zeke Nnaji grabs a nice block and Bones Hyland finishes the possession with a nice acrobatic touch. Vlatko Cancar makes 3 corner kicks and makes the Nuggets total 100 points with 45 seconds left. Denver enters fourth over 102-59.

The fourth quarter:

The Clippers still only have two bench players on the court to start the quarter, and they’ve scored 6 of their first 8 points. Denver only scores 4 points in the first 3 minutes of the quarter and Coach Malone calls another timeout. Nnaji finishes a tough throw and 1 dunk after Davon Reed hits three. The Nuggets’ backups put the game away and maintained a solid effort throughout the entire game, even though it ended well before the final buzzer. Denver got its first “monster” of the season, holding the Clippers to just 90 points.

What’s Next?

Nuggets will take over Cleveland Cavaliers (25-14) again at the Ball Arena in less than 24 hours. With tonight’s game going, the Nuggets should be fully rested for tomorrow. The game kicks off at 7:00 and is shaping up to be exciting. Donovan Mitchell has averaged 33.5 points over the last 4 games, including a historic 71-point game.

Note – Happy Birthday to Alex English

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