Game #17
Pepsi Center | Denver, CO
January 29, 2012 | 5:00PM (PST)
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TEAM 1 2 3 4 FINAL
23 25 29 32 109
26 27 30 22 105

Denver native once again a hometown hero, this time in the Clippers’ red and blue, with his 32 points in the Clippers’ second road win of the year

Chauncey Billups, back in Denver, looked like he felt right at home. That helped the Clippers leave Billups’ old stomping grounds with their best road win of the season.

The one-time Nugget, making his first appearance in Denver since being traded by his hometown team last season, led the Clippers to a 109-105 victory at Pepsi Center over the Nuggets on Sunday night.

Even though he was playing in front of friends and family, Billups understood the importance of getting the Clippers’ second road win. His 32 points, a season-high, ensured that the Clippers (11-6) would emerge victorious away from STAPLES Center for the first time since opening night in Oakland.

“We've got to get better on the road. This was a great opponent to face on the road,” Billups told Prime Ticket after the game. “We've got to start somewhere. We struggled a little bit (on the road) thus far this season, but it was a good win for us.”

Despite the Clippers falling down by 10 points to open the fourth quarter, they quickly went on a 12-2 run to make sure they were on the other end of a blown lead.

Billups, who had 26 points through three quarters, made the clutch plays the Clippers needed down the stretch. With three minutes to play and the Clippers down 99-96, he drained a 3-pointer from the left wing to tie the game. On the Clippers’ next possession, Chris Paul gathered a miss and quickly sent the ball down the court. Billups gathered the pass before hitting a jumper through a Nene foul on the fastbreak chance.

Billups made the free throw and his six straight points made the Clippers the first team to 100 points in what had become a shootout of a game against the Nuggets (14-6), who had the league’s best offense.

“We controlled the game pretty well,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. “Guys stepped up at the end and did what we had to do.”

Billiups had plenty of help from his backcourt partner Paul. Paul patiently ran the offense while the Clippers made their fourth-quarter comeback and finished with another impressive statline of 25 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds.

After finishing scoring for the night, Billups wasn’t done with the heroics. He drew an offensive foul on Nene, who was bruising the Clippers inside, with the Nuggets down two points and trying to tie the game. The Clippers got the ball back with 18 seconds left and put away one of the league’s hottest teams.

That he got to it in front of his family was of little importance to Billups.

“Of course you want to play good in front of your family, but that's it,” Billups said.

Del Negro wasn’t surprised by his veteran’s play down the stretch. He was more concerned about the 35-year-old’s body with the Clippers in the middle of another tough back-to-back. After challenging the No. 2 team in the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder come to STAPLES Center on Monday holding the NBA’s best record at 16-3.

“We know Chauncey's going to make shots and plays,” Del Negro said. “Now we've just got to ice him, get him up tomorrow and get ready for a back to back.”

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