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Faried, Hickson help Nuggets end Clippers' win streak at 11

By The Associated Press

Posted March 18, 2014 00:45

DENVER (AP) -- Reserve J.J. Hickson had 21 points and Ty Lawson scored eight of his 19 in a late fourth-quarter run, helping the Denver Nuggets end the Los Angeles Clippers' 11-game winning streak with a 110-100 victory Monday night.

The Clippers' streak was tied for second-longest in franchise history. Their longest, 17 in a row last season, also was snapped by Denver at Pepsi Center.

Kenneth Faried added 18 points and 16 rebounds in a duel in the paint against Blake Griffin, who finished with 26 points and 12 boards.

Down 98-96 with 4:21 remaining, Lawson hit a 3-point to give the Nuggets a lead they wouldn't relinquish. It was part of a 14-2 run to close out the game. The Clippers didn't score again after DeAndre Jordan's dunk at 3:31.

The Clippers had plenty of chances to get back into the contest, but Randy Foye foiled any rally bid - hitting a big 3-pointer and later blocking Reggie Bullock's shot on a drive.

Still, it was quite a St. Patrick's Day for Griffin. He began the day by being named the league's player of the week for a third time this season. Then, he went out and scored at least 20 points in a career-best 27th straight game.

Chris Paul finished 29 points. He also had seven assists, giving him 5,996 or his career. He's trying to join Magic Johnson, John Stockton and Isiah Thomas as the only NBA players to go over the 6,000-assist plateau before their 29th birthday. Paul turns 29 in May.

The Clippers played the night before, beating Cleveland 102-80, and seemed to fade late in the fourth quarter.

Los Angeles was without Darren Collison, who didn't make the trip because of a stomach virus. The team already was missing J.J. Redick (bulging disk), Jamal Crawford (strained left calf).

Denver turned in a five-point possession moments after losing the lead early in the third quarter. Lawson hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired and was fouled by Paul, who was incensed over the play and given a technical. Foye made the technical foul and Lawson hit his free throw to make it a 65-63 game.

Griffin tumbled all over the court in the first half, dragging down Faried on one sequence - Faried was called for a foul - and ran into a cameraman at halfcourt trying to track down a loose ball.

Paul was a bit dinged up as he landed awkwardly on his left leg after a shot in the second quarter, and later was hit in the face by Wilson Chandler's leg when Chandler tried to leap over the Clippers point guard. Paul stood his ground and drew the charge.

Denver led 56-53 at halftime despite Paul going for 20 and Griffin adding 16.

The Nuggets wore replica uniforms of the 1993-94 team to honor the squad that knocked off top-seeded Seattle in the postseason. Several of the players and coaches from that team showed up for the celebration, including Dikembe Mutombo and LaPhonso Ellis.

Ellis and several of his former teammates had dinner the night before with current players to chat about the glory days, when the Nuggets erased a 2-0 deficit to beat the Sonics - then coached by George Karl - in a decisive fifth game.

''Fascinating to hear all the stories and add some little details to maybe some unfinished stories,'' Ellis said. ''We feel very overwhelmed, flattered and honored that (the Nuggets) would extend to us an unbelievable gesture.''

NOTES: The Clippers were outscored in second chance points, 23-19. ... Nuggets Fs Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur were both called for technical fouls in the first half. ... Dan Issel, the head coach of the 93-94 team, brought out the game ball before tip.


STAR OF THE GAME

J.J. Hickson

Points 21 9-14 FG, 3-7 FT
Rebounds 11, 6 OFF 5 DEF
Assists 0
Steals 0
Blocks 0
GAME LEADERS
Points Chris Paul 29
Rebounds Kenneth Faried 16
Assists Ty Lawson 17
Steals Ty Lawson, Randy Foye 4
Blocks Two with 2
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

Clippers coach Doc Rivers on contending with Denver's effort and energy

"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. They are sitting here waiting for you and you feel like you are going into the lion’s den."

KEY MOMENT

Lawson fuels late charge

Trailing 98-96 with 4:42 remaining, the Nuggets scored 11 points on four straight possessions while limiting Los Angeles to one field goal during that stretch. Denver point guard Ty Lawson accounted for all 11 points, scoring six and assisting on the other five.

VIDEO RECAP

Postgame Quotes

Nuggets 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.”

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.”

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.”

Clippers coach Doc Rivers

On falling short tonight:
“We hung in there. I was happy at halftime. 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.”

Clippers point 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.”

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.”

POSTGAME NOTES

INDIVIDUAL

• J.J. Hickson registered 21 points (9-14 FG) and 11 rebounds (six offensive) tonight. It was his 28th double-double and third 20-point/10-rebound game of the year. It was his seventh game of the year with 6+ offensive rebounds and also his seventh time leading the Nuggets in scoring.

• Kenneth Faried tallied 18 points and a season-high 16 rebounds. It was his 19th double-double of the year and the fifth time in his career he has had 18+ points and 16+ rebounds. The Nuggets are now 34-3 when Faried has a double-double at home.

• Additionally, Faried is averaging 22.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.11 steals while shooting .642 (79-123) from the field in his last nine games. He has registered four double-doubles and Denver is 5-4 during this stretch.

• Ty Lawson totaled 19 points, five assists and four steals. It was the seventh game of his career he has posted 19+ points, 5+ assists and 4+ steals.

• Blake Griffin posted 26 points (7-25 FG) and 12 rebounds (eight offensive). He started the game 3-of-5 and finished 4-of-20. His 18 misses ties his career-high for missed field goals in a single game. It was his fifth career game with eight offensive rebounds and his third career game with 26+ points, 12+ boards, 2+ steals and 2+ blocks.

• Chris Paul led the Clippers with 29 points, seven assists and three steals. It was his 31st career game reaching those numbers. Additionally, it was just the 22nd game of his career committing six-or-more turnovers and the first time since 11/11/13 vs. MIN.

TEAM

• The Nuggets move to 2-1 in their season-series with the Clippers. The Nuggets have now won 13 of their last 15 home games over the Clippers.

• The Clippers’ NBA season-high tying 11-game winning streak was snapped with the loss tonight. Their 11-game winning streak ranked second in franchise history to their 17-game streak last season – which Denver also ended on 1/1/13 at home.

• The Nuggets moved to 7-1 on the year and 53-9 when facing an opponent on the second night of a back-to-back set.

• Denver has won three straight home games for the first time since 1/7 through 1/11. They have also now won 55 of their last 56 home games when scoring 110-or-more points.

• The Clippers led 98-96 with 4:42 remaining but made just one field goal and were outscored 14-2 to finish the game. The Nuggets held the Clippers to just 17 fourth quarter points, the fewest an opponent has scored in the fourth since 1/31 vs. TOR.

• Denver held the Clippers to .391 (36-92 FG) shooting from the field tonight and move to 7-3 when holding their opponent under 40% shooting.

• The Nuggets had all five starters score in double-figures (8-3 when this happens) and are now 19-7 on the year when six-or-more players score 10+ points.

• Denver outrebounded the Clippers 55-43, moving to 12-6 on the year when collecting 50+ rebounds.