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Game Preview: Clippers vs Nuggets


The Denver Nuggets have shown the ability to raise their level of play against tough opponents at Pepsi Center this season.

Over the past three weeks, they have beaten the best team in the West (Oklahoma City) and the top team in the East (Indiana) at home.

The Nuggets (22-23) will have to be on their game again Monday night when they face the surging Los Angeles Clippers, who have won 11 of 14 games – all without All-Star point guard Chris Paul.

“They can beat you in a variety of ways,” Denver coach Brian Shaw said after the team’s morning shootaround. “Defensively, they’re very active and they have bigs that can protect the rim and be physical as well. They’ll make you earn everything that you get.

“On the offensive side, they have guys that can shoot from the perimeter and get in the lane and create. They’re a well-rounded team that’s starting to get comfortable and understand what (coach) Doc (Rivers) wants out of them. We’re going to have to play a solid game – a near-perfect game – if we want to give ourselves a chance to win.”

This will be the second meeting between the teams this season. With the Nuggets playing the second of back-to-back games, the Clippers jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter and never trailed in a 21-point win at Staples Center on Dec. 21.


CLIPPERS AT NUGGETS


WHEN:
7 p.m. MT
WHERE: Pepsi Center, Denver.
TV; RADIO: Altitude; AM-950

PROBABLE STARTERS
DENVER (22-23)

F Wilson Chandler
F Kenneth Faried
C J.J. Hickson
G Randy Foye
G Ty Lawson

LOS ANGELES (34-16)
F Matt Barnes
F Blake Griffin
C DeAndre Jordan
G J.J. Redick
G Darren Collison

INJURY REPORT
DENVER:
Darrell Arthur (hip) is probable; Lawson (left rotator cuff strain) is a game-time decision; Danilo Gallinari (knee) and JaVale McGee (stress fracture, left tibia) and Nate Robinson (strained knee ligament) are out.
LOS ANGELES: Chris Paul (separated shoulder) is out.

SERIES NOTES
The Nuggets have won 17 of the last 27 games overall against the Clippers since 2006-07, with seven of the nine losses coming in Los Angeles (11-2 at home, 6-8 on road) . . . Denver has claimed six season series wins over the Clippers in the last nine seasons . . . The 2010-11 season marked the first 2-2 series split between these teams since the 2003-04 season, not to mention only the fourth since 1993-94 . . . The Nuggets currently own an all-time winning percentage of .556 (84-67) against the Clippers, which stands as the best mark for Denver against any opponent in the NBA with at least 100 meetings between them.