Notebook: Nuggets 92, Clippers 78

Posted Jan 2, 2013 1:12 AM

Michael Kelly, for

THE FACTS: It has been two holidays spanning 36 days, but the Los Angeles Clippers finally tasted defeat.

Danilo Gallinari scored 17 points, Andre Miller had 12 points and 12 assists as the Denver Nuggets handed the Clippers their first loss since Nov. 26 with a 92-78 win Tuesday night.

Kenneth Faried had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who had six players score in double figures to extend their home winning streak to eight.

Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe finished with 12 points each and DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 11 rebounds for L.A.

QUOTABLE: "What did we accomplish? (Winning 17 straight) is cool but they didn't care about that tonight. We're just upset about the loss, we didn't care about the streak."

-- Clippers guard Chris Paul, on the winning streak.

THE STAT: Griffin had shot 50 percent or better in every game of the winning streak. Tuesday he was 4-for-11 from the field and committed five fouls.

TURNING POINT: After stretching a one-point lead to 12 late in the third quarter, the Nuggets -- actually JaVale McGee -- finished the period with a flurry. The 7-footer slammed an alley-oop with 8.9 seconds left, and after Jamal Crawford missed two free throws he took an inbounds pass with 1.6 seconds left and drained the first 3-pointer of his career to put Denver ahead 75-59. He then did a dance back to the Nuggets' bench.

QUOTABLE II: "I had my celebration ready so I had to use it. I was stirring the pot and tasting it because the 3 was that good."

-- McGee, on his elaborate act after his 3-pointer.

HOT: The Nuggets defense. They minimized the damage of the Clippers' inside game, and they also kept L.A. from getting easy baskets by taking care of the ball.

NOT: Los Angeles' outside shooting and foul shooting. The Clippers were 5-for-29 from 3-point range, a far cry from the 35-percent season average, and they were 13-for-29 from the foul line.

QUOTABLE III: "We all got shots we'd love to get cracks at again. It happens sometimes. It's a long season. It's a little frustrating, especially when they're good shots."

-- Crawford

GOOD MOVE: The Nuggets employed two 7-footers on the floor at times to help defend the paint. Timofey Mozgov, who has played a limited role this season, was solid in 12:30 of court time, scoring four points and pulling down six rebounds.

BAD MOVE: The Clippers didn't take care of the ball. They had 15 turnovers which led to 21 Denver points.

ROOKIE WATCH: Denver's Evan Fournier saw the court due to the absence of starting point guard Ty Lawson. He hit both of his 3-pointers and finished with six points.

NOTABLE: Lawson missed his first game of the season with a strained left Achilles' tendon. It was just the third game missed by a regular starter all season. ... Miller, at 36, played nearly 42 minutes, the most he's played in almost two years. ... Faried recorded his 14th double-double of the season and 26th of his career. ... The Clippers' streak was the second longest ever broken by the Nuggets. They snapped Chicago's 18-game winning streak on Feb. 4, 1996.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Wednesday @ Golden State, Friday vs. L.A. Lakers, Saturday vs. Golden State. For the Nuggets, Thursday vs. Minnesota, Saturday vs. Utah, Sunday @ L.A. Lakers.