Denver 94, L.A. Clippers 87
DENVER, April 27 (Ticker) --
With dispirited play and dissension
conspiring to push their season to the brink, the Denver Nuggets
desperately needed some help. They got it from the Los Angeles
scored 24 points and the Nuggets found enough
energy for a 94-87 victory over the sloppy Clippers that allowed
them to get back into their Western Conference first-round
NBA TV highlights from |
Neither team played well, but the Nuggets did enough to notch
their first win of the series after dropping a pair of contests
in Los Angeles. Denver won despite shooting under 38 percent
(31-of-82) from the field - including 0-of-11 from the arc - and
missing 14 free throws.
"Tonight we showed that you don't have to shoot great to still
get the victory," said Nuggets guard Earl Boykins
, who scored 13
points off the bench. "As long as you do all the other things
on the court, you can be OK."
In their losses, the Nuggets averaged just 87 points as their
running game was shut down. To make matters worse, forward
was suspended indefinitely after Game Two for
conduct detrimental to the team, a huge distraction in the
The Nuggets squandered a quick start and found themselves in a
70-70 tie entering the final period. But they never trailed
thereafter, capitalizing on a multitude of mistakes by the
"They were feisty and they are nasty," Los Angeles guard Sam Cassell
said. "Even though we didn't match their intensity, we
still had a chance to win the game."
Hampered by foul trouble the entire contest, the Clippers closed
to 89-87 with 2:16 to play on a layup by Chris Kaman
- his only
basket of the game. On the next possession, Anthony - who made
just 6-of-17 shots - overpowered Quinton Ross
in the low post
for a layup.
"We just kept our composure out there," Anthony said. "You have
to keep shooting and eventually they will fall. It was an ugly
win, but we will take what we can get."
Los Angeles did not score again as Shaun Livingston
for charging and Corey Maggette
missed a jumper. Boykins
made a pair of free throws in the final minute to seal it.
scored 14 points, Greg Buckner
added 13 and Marcus Camby
12 and 14 rebounds for the Nuggets, who host Game Four on
Maggette scored 23 points, Cassell added 20 and Elton Brand
for the Clippers, who shot 40 percent (29-of-72) and committed
25 turnovers and 40 fouls. Brand and Livingston fouled out and
Kaman, Maggette and Vladimir Radmanovic
had five apiece.
"Maggette gave us a big lift off the bench," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy
said. "He was very positive for us. This was a
different game than the two games in LA. It's hard to figure.
We had 25 turnovers and still almost survived."
In all, the teams combined for 68 fouls, 40 turnovers and 23
missed free throws. Miller fouled a pair of 3-point shooters in
the fourth quarter.
"It was (the Clippers') first road playoff game, so you have to
give them some credit," Miller said. "We're an up-and-down
team, so all those fouls slowed us down and the game. Hopefully
with less fouls, we can build on leads when we get them."
Bruising forward Eduardo Najera
started and provided the early
energy Denver had been lacking in the first two games. The
Nuggets scored the final seven points of the first quarter and
opened a 24-13 lead.
"I thought Eddie was terrific tonight," Nuggets coach George Karl
said. "I felt he was the MVP of the game. I still think
we are rusty. The game on Saturday is going to be a lot more
aggressive and physical than tonight."
Maggette scored nine points in a 13-0 burst that began the
second period and gave the Clippers the lead. Despite 15
turnovers and three scoreless starters, LA trailed just 45-42 at
"They shot 46 free throws, that's a lot," Cassell said. "We
didn't lose the game right there, they just played harder than
us. They took it to us."