Game Preview: Nuggets-Clippers

Faried, Foye and Mozgov lead the way as Denver finishes road schedule in L.A.
by Aaron Lopez

Depleted in numbers and long eliminated from playoff contention, the Denver Nuggets have looked like a team determined to finish the season on a positive note.

Led by the trio of Kenneth Faried, Randy Foye and Timofey Mozgov, the Nuggets take a three-game winning streak into Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“There’s no checking out,” Foye said. “We’re preaching that our season for next year starts now. Coach has done a great job of motivating us and keeping us on our toes with the guys that we have.”

First-year coach Brian Shaw has juggled his lineup all season while coping with injuries to rotation players Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, J.J. Hickson, Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee and Nate Robinson.

Chandler returned to the lineup Saturday after missing 10 games with a groin strain. He is probable for the matchup with the Clippers after scoring nine points against the Jazz.

Darrell Arthur also is listed as probable. He was limited to just 2 minutes against Utah due to a knee strain/contusion.

Despite the injuries, the Nuggets have won four of their past six games. Each of their past nine losses have come against teams bound for the playoffs.

“It’s a tribute to them at this point of the season in terms of playing as hard as they are and playing together for one another,” Shaw said. “I’m happy about that.”

A few things of note as the Nuggets finish their road schedule:

Faried is averaging 21.7 points and 15.7 rebounds while shooting .556 from the field during Denver’s three-game win streak. He also has recorded eight double-doubles in the past 10 games.

Foye is averaging 25.3 points, 9.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds in the past three games. He also needs just six 3-pointers to tie Dale Ellis’ franchise-record of 192 during the 1996-97 season.

Mozgov, meanwhile, is averaging 20.5 points and 11.3 rebounds in his past seven games.

The Nuggets will conclude 2013-14 Wednesday night against Golden State.


WHEN: 8:30 p.m. MT
WHERE: Staples Center, Los Angeles

DENVER (36-44)

F Quincy Miller
F Kenneth Faried
C Timofey Mozgov
G Randy Foye
G Aaron Brooks

F Matt Barnes
F Blake Griffin
C DeAndre Jordan
G J.J. Redick
G Chris Paul

Darrell Arthur (knee) and Wilson Chandler (groin) are probable; Danilo Gallinari (knee), J.J. Hickson (knee), Ty Lawson (ankle), JaVale McGee (stress fracture, left tibia) and Nate Robinson (knee) are out.
LOS ANGELES: Danny Granger (hamstring) is out.

The Nuggets have won 19 of the last 29 games overall against the Clippers since 2006-07 . . . Denver has played the Clippers solidly in Los Angeles in recent years, having gone 5-8 at Staples Center over the past seven seasons . . . Denver has claimed seven season series wins over Los Angeles in the last 10 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 . . . The Clippers are one win away from setting their franchise record for victories in a season.