Game #69 | March 17, 2014
Pepsi Center | Denver, CO
DENVER – A back-to-back in the Mile High City, a start time an hour later than usual, an L.A.-worthy commute to and from the airport, the second night of a back-to-back.
Things were seemingly aligned against the Clippers Monday night at Pepsi Center. And despite hanging around in a game that they struggled to make shots, turned the ball over and allowed the Nuggets a sizeable advantage on the glass, the Clippers could not avoid losing for the first time in nearly a month, falling, 110-100.
The loss snapped an 11-game winning streak for the Clippers (48-21), a stretch that began on Feb. 23 in Oklahoma City. It was the second time in as many seasons the Nuggets (30-37) ended a lengthy Clippers’ streak. Denver beat the Clippers at Pepsi Center on Jan. 1, 2013 to end a franchise-record 17-game win streak.
“We hung in there,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “I just didn’t think we had enough in us to be honest.”
The Clippers looked fatigued and out of sync at times. They were already without three of their top four guards and lost starter Willie Green in the fourth quarter to an ankle injury. The injury woes were compounded by foul trouble by DeAndre Jordan and Matt Barnes.
Denver put together a 14-2 run after Chris Paul converted a runner and crashed to the floor that put the Clippers up 98-96 with 4:41 remaing. He missed the ensuing free throw and the Nuggets scored on four of their next five possessions, capped by a 3-pointer from the left wing by former Clipper Randy Foye. A pair of free throws by Ty Lawson and another by J.J. Hickson iced the game for Denver.
Paul finished with 29 points and seven assists. Blake Griffin had 26 points with 12 rebounds and four assists, but went just 7-for-25 from the field. He converted a career-high 12 free throws without a miss.
“Too many missed shots, too many small errors here and there,” Griffin said. “Everybody played hard but I just put us in a bad position.”
The short-handed Clippers were without J.J. Redick (back), Jamal Crawford (calf) and Darren Collison (stomach virus) who all stayed in Los Angeles. Without three of their best offensive weapons, they shot just 39.1 percent and went 5-for-21 from 3-point range, were outrebounded, 55-43, and committed 16 turnovers and 28 fouls.
“Back-to-backs are always tough, especially because we’ve got guys down,” said Jordan, who had eight points and 11 rebounds. “But that’s no excuse. Every team has back-to-backs and it’s tough. You’ve just got to find a way to win. That’s all.”
For a time, it looked like the Clippers were going to steal a win and head home with a four-day break looming. But the Nuggets made use of far too many plays that shifted momentum in their favor on a night when they were honoring the 20-year anniversary of their 1993-94 Playoff team.
There was a 5-point possession, where Lawson nailed a 3-pointer at the shot clock buzzer and drew a foul on Paul, who was whistled for a technical foul after the play. There were back-to-back 3-point plays during Denver’s 14-2 close to the game. And the misses on the other end began to pile up.
“I thought we were missing shots and we were getting down ourselves,” Rivers said. “That’s something that we’ll get better at.”
The game skidded to a halt in the second quarter, which included 28 free throws, a video review for a clear-path foul and two Nuggets technical fouls. The Clippers and Nuggets both shot worse than 40 percent from the field and combined for 19 turnovers.
Griffin and Paul combined for 36 of the Clippers’ 53 points. Paul picked up where he left off in the fourth quarter Friday, connecting on six of his first 10 shots of the game. He scored 20 points, including 14 in the second quarter. It was the third time this season he’s scored 20 or more in a half.
Earlier in the day, Griffin was selected as the Western Conference Player of the Month for the week of Mar. 9-16. He joins Elton Brand as the second player in franchise history to win three player of the week awards in the same season. They both did so in three separate months… The Nuggets are 52-9 when hosting a team on a back-to-back at Pepsi Center… Griffin scored at least 20 points for the 27th consecutive game. It’s the sixth most games in a row in the NBA in the last six years… It’s the third game in a row the Clippers have failed to score at least their season average of 107 points… Eight Clippers players committed at least three fouls… Barnes scored nine points, snapping his career-best streak of 12 games in a row with at least 10 points…
Denver Nuggets Head Coach Brian Shaw:
On tonight’s game:
“Overall, good job by our team today to holding this team [Clippers], which was the hottest team in the NBA, to coming in and breaking their streak at eleven games and holding them to 39 percent shooting [and] 24 percent from three.”
On giving consistent effort for each game:
“All around [it was] a good game for us. I told the team our last two victories against the caliber of competition that we were playing against just show our guys that we can play with anybody on any given night. What we have to strive for is the consistency when we play teams that aren’t those elite teams to be able to come back after a win like tonight and be able to play solid against a team that is maybe just natural not to get as hyped up for.”
On why they have knocked off two good teams in a row:
“One reason is [that] we are relatively healthy. We have twelve available guys that we didn’t have for a long time and we got our engine back in Ty. When he was out, it was no secret; we struggled in every aspect of the game. He exudes confidence and gives off confidence to our guys when he’s out there on the floor with them.”
Denver Nuggets Guard Randy Foye:
On his block from behind on a fast break late in the fourth quarter:
“Actually, I used to always do that in high school and college—let guys run in front and then go get it. I used to do that early on in my career, but just the way he ran and then crossed back over he set himself up, so I went and got it. It was awesome, it was unbelievable, but like I said he set himself up—he didn’t even try and jump into me, he just jumped straight up so I went and got it.”
On what it says about the Nuggets that they beat both the Heat and Clippers in a three-game stretch:
“That we can play with anyone—the way that we get up for these games, we have to get up for other teams like that. The teams that are below .500, we have to get up for those guys like we did tonight. If we had done that, this season would have been a different story.”
On the 1993-94 Nuggets team being in attendance to be honored at halftime:
“Just having their jerseys on, you could just feel in the building today when you got here that it was a different atmosphere. We felt it from last night—we had dinner with those guys last night and just hearing their stories we really wanted to come out and win for those guys tonight.”
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Monday, March 17, 2014
Denver Nuggets Forward J.J. Hickson:
On tonight’s win:
“It was a big win for us, we usually play great against the top tier teams in the league. We have to finish the rest of the season and play like professionals. We had fun tonight and got the win.”
On duo with Kenneth Faried:
“We do a good job of running the floor and making ourselves available because we know we are going to get the ball with Ty Lawson out there on the court. Kenneth Faried and I have a lot of energy and we have been doing a good job of finishing in the paint.”
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Monday, March 17, 2014
Los Angeles Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers:
On falling short tonight:
“We hung in there. I was happy at half time. We were down three. I just didn’t think we had enough in us, to be honest. Then Willie [Green] goes down and we are running make-shift lineups out there. But, give them credit. I thought they played hard. They dominated the glass and the energy department. Going into the game I thought the energy might be an issue. [The Nuggets] are sitting here waiting for you and you feel like you are going into the lion’s den today. But overall I was really happy. I thought we had a shot and that is all you can ask for. ”
On Blake Griffin being 7-of-25 from the floor:
“I told Blake that I don’t care. I don’t mind if he goes 7-for-40, just keep shooting and playing with confidence. I think that is good for our team sometimes. You’re not going to be great every night offensively. Your offense is going to fail you some nights. But, there are other ways to win and help the team. I thought Blake tried to do that tonight. DeAndre Jordan’s fouls hurt us because then I had to bring Blake back in earlier than I wanted and he had to play the last 16 minutes. Doing that in Denver is not fun and I thought that hurt him too.”
On if fatigue played a factor in tonight’s loss:
“It could have been fatigue. I thought we were missing shots and getting down on ourselves too. That is something that we will get better at.”
Los Angeles Clippers Guard Chris Paul:
On tonight’s performance:
“We just didn’t get stops. I think one of the big plays was when I got fouled on an and-1 and missed the free-throw to go up by 3. They came down, Aaron Brooks or somebody penetrated and kicked it out to Ty Lawson and he hit a big three.”
On importance of winning streaks:
“I think we realize that doesn’t matter. A team like ours and other teams obviously try to do well and get your seeding right in the regular season but we had a 17-game win streak last year and got knocked out of the playoffs.”
On having next four days off:
“It will give me a chance to chill with my family a little bit and heal up, hopefully not just me but everybody. We have a lot of guys banged up and stuff like that. For me I’ll do the same- get some rest, get in the gym and work on some stuff.”
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Monday, March 17, 2014
Los Angeles Clippers Forward Blake Griffin:
On shooting performance:
“I was tired but you can’t use that as an excuse. This game is pretty much entirely on me. I can’t play that poorly and expect us to win. The good thing about it is you have a chance to redeem yourself. A lot of good players have bad nights or have poor shooting nights, things like that. It’s about how you bounce back.”
On Doc Rivers wanting him to continue to shoot:
“I struggle with that a little bit because you don’t want to put your team in a bad situation. Doc [Rivers] came in and said ‘if you go 0 for 40’, he looked at Chris [Paul] and said ‘if you go 0 for 40, you have to have the mindset that the next one is going in.’ That’s what I have to get to. But at the same time I’d like to shoot a little better than that.”
Nuggets Snap Clips' 11-Game Win StreakClippers vs. Nuggets: JJ Hickson has 21 points and 11 rebounds, Kenneth Faried adds 18 points and 16 rebounds in the win over the Clippers.
Cleared for LaunchChris Paul launches it to Blake Griffin who flies high for the impressive stuff.
Oop to D.J.Chris Paul fakes the dish to Blake Griffin and goes up top to DeAndre Jordan for the flush.
Clippers March MixClippers March Mix
LACtv Preview: Clippers at NuggetsClippers look to keep winning streak alive Monday night at Denver.
Griffin leads Clips past Cavs, 11th Straight WinCavaliers vs. Clippers: Blake Griffin has a near triple-double on his 25th birthday and the Clippers hold off the Cavaliers for their 11th consecutive victory.
LACtv postgame: Clippers vs CavsThe birthday boys shine in Clippers win over Cleveland.
Granger postgame vs CavsDanny Granger talks about the Clippers win over Cleveland.
Postgame: Doc Rivers | 3/16/2014Doc Rivers addresses the media after tonight's victory over the Cavaliers.
The Lob, the JamOn the fast break, Chris Paul finds Blake Griffin who lobs it to DeAndre Jordan for the jam.
Pregame News Conference: Doc Rivers | 3/16/14Doc Rivers addresses the media before the matchup vs. Cleveland.
Griffin, Paul Tune Out The JazzClippers vs. Jazz: Blake Griffin scores 20 points with Chris Paul adding 18 points as the Clippers top the Jazz on the road 96-87.
Through the Lens: Clippers Pregame ActionCheck out the Clippers as they prepare for game action hours before tipoff.
Chris Paul Postgame - 3/14/14Chris Paul addresses the media following the win in Utah.
Blake Griffin Postgame - 3/14/14Griffin's postgame comments from Utah.
Doc Rivers Postgame - 3/14/14Doc Rivers' postgame comments following the win vs. the Jazz.
Doc Rivers Pregame - 3/14/14Rivers talks about Blake Griffin, the Clippers' lineup moving forward and more before tonight's game in Utah.
LACtv Preview: Clippers at JazzThe Clippers look to extend their league-best winning streak to 10 tonight in Salt Lake City.
Darren Collison Pregame - 3/14/14Darren Collison talks about his defense playing off the ball alongside Chris Paul and more before shootaround in Utah.
CLIP SESSION EP 21The top Clippers highlights from the past week
|Chris Paul and Blake Griffin Named to 2014 All-NBA Team June 04, 2014||Chris Paul All-Defensive First Team June 02, 2014||Spirit Dance Team: Clippers vs. Thunder | Game 6 | 5/15/2014 May 16, 2014||Game Action: Clippers vs. Thunder: Game 6 | 5/15/2014 May 16, 2014|
|Clippers vs. Thunder: Game 6 | 5/15/2014 May 15, 2014||Game 5 | Clippers vs. Thunder | 5/13/2014 May 13, 2014|
|Saturday, March 22, 2014||7:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Monday, March 24, 2014||7:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Thursday, April 3, 2014||7:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Sunday, April 6, 2014||12:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Wednesday, April 9, 2014||7:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Saturday, April 12, 2014||12:30 PM||BUY NOW|
|Tuesday, April 15, 2014||7:30 PM||BUY NOW|
By: Ben Haber | Follow @HaberBen
The NCAA Tournament headlines basketball action during March, but the Clippers impressive 11-game winning streak deserves its fair share of recognition.
The Clippers (48-20) have the opportunity to prevail in their 12th straight game on Monday against the Denver Nuggets, who beat the Clippers by a point on Feb. 3 after Randy Foye made a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer. Twelve consecutive wins would be the second best mark in franchise history, only short of the 17-game straight wins last season, a streak that was coincidentally broken on Jan. 1, 2013 at Pepsi Center against Denver.
The Nuggets (29-37) continue to go through ups and downs. The Atlanta Hawks clipped the Nuggets 97-92 on Saturday, a day after an upset victory over the Heat in Miami.
The Clippers also moved to within a game (two losses) of the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. The Oklahoma City Thunder (48-18) play at Chicago Monday in the first game of ESPN’s special edition double-header that is followed by Clippers-Nuggets.
BLAKE GRIFFIN VS. KENNETH FARIED
THREE THINGS TO WATCH ON PRIME TICKET
- Since the Nuggets drafted Kenneth Faried, Blake Griffin has grown accustomed to battling him. Griffin and Faried have three double-doubles apiece in eight career matchups. In the previous meeting in Denver on Feb. 3, Faried went for 28 points and 11 boards, while Griffin countered with 36 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
- Rebounding is the lone major statistic the Nuggets claim over the Clippers. Brian Shaw’s team comes in at No. 3 on the glass, and Doc Rivers’ team is No. 15. In both games of the 2013-14 series, the Nuggets snatched more rebounds. In the Clippers 112-91 win against Denver on Dec. 21, the margin was close at 46-50. In the Nuggets 116-115 victory against Clippers on Feb. 3, Denver tallied 52 rebounds compared to Los Angeles at 37.
- The combination of playing a back-to-back and being in the Pepsi Center is far from ideal. The Clippers haven’t gone into Denver and won since Apr. 18, 2012, coming up short in their last three tries. The Nuggets usually sit atop the league in home record, but are just .500 at 16-16 in 2013-14. The Clippers road record remains on the rise, up to 19-15 via five straight favorable outcomes. Since 2009-10, however, Denver is 51-9 when facing an opponent traveling to Pepsi Center on the second night of a back-to-back.
Denver will wear navy blue jerseys to commemorate the 1993-94 Playoff team that upset No. 1 seeded Seattle… The Clippers are holding opponents below 43.0 percent shooting during their winning streak… The only game the Clippers have lost this season while shooting 50 percent or better from the field was at Denver a month ago… The Clippers are 19-60 in the Mile High City all-time… Griffin has scored 20 points or more in 26 straight games… Both teams’ average 14-plus turnovers in 2013-14… Reggie Bullock and Ty Lawson attended the University of North Carolina, yet their tenures never overlapped…
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Willie Green: “They beat us last time on a buzzer beater so that’s in the back of our minds. We have to go out there tomorrow and play those guys and be ready to execute.”
LAC: J.J. Redick (back), Jamal Crawford (calf) and Darren Collison (stomach virus) are out.
DEN: JaVale McGee (shin), Danilo Gallinari (knee) and Nate Robinson (knee) are out for the season.
REGULAR SEASON HISTORY
All-Time: 69-86 (Home: 50-26, Road 19-60)
Current Overall Steak: Lost 1
Road Streak: Lost 3
Last Win: April 18, 2012 (104-98)
Last Loss: February 3, 2014 (115-16)
Largest Margin of Victory:
Road: 27 (114-87), March 21, 1992
Largest Margin of Defeat:
Road: 46 (93-139), November 6, 1987
Dec. 21, 2013 at Staples Center: Clippers 112, Nuggets 91
Feb. 3, 2014 at Pepsi Center: Nuggets 116, Clippers 115
Mar. 17, 2014 at Pepsi Center
Apr. 15, 2014 at Staples Center
LAST TIME OUT
Pts: Griffin 21