The Nuggets dominated the primary three quarters on an evening when Nikola Jokic didn’t attain double figures till hitting a 3-pointer with 5:20 left within the recreation. He completed with 14 factors, seven rebounds and 7 assists.
“We anticipate 30, 20 and 15 from him each night time,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone mentioned of Jokic. “He didn’t play poor however he didn’t play to the extent he’s performed at within the final 15 video games.”
Jokic’s supporting forged got here by way of. Michael Porter Jr. added 20 factors and Will Barton had 19 factors. Aaron Gordon added 14 factors as Denver improved to 3-0 since Gordon arrived final week by way of a commerce from Orlando.
“We set the tone and had been capable of maintain that,” Murray mentioned. “We had been in management and particularly on the highway that’s an enormous deal.”
Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 24 factors and 12 rebounds. Paul George had 17 factors and eight rebounds in his return after lacking two video games with a sore proper foot. Terance Mann added 18 factors off the bench.
George mentioned the soreness and swelling in his foot is expounded to the bone edema subject that sidelined him earlier.
“It’s a day-to-day course of, however I’m doing higher,” he mentioned. “Some days it’s extra sore than others.”
The Clippers made a run within the fourth, opening with a 13-3 spurt that left them trailing 84-83.
However Denver outscored them the remainder of the way in which. Jokic’s 3-pointer prolonged the Nuggets’ result in six and Murray’s 3 made it 96-88.
“That’s back-to-back video games that we’ve led wire-to-wire which is de facto spectacular when you think about who we performed, with Philadelphia being an excellent staff, as are the Clippers,” Malone mentioned.
The Clippers, who lead the NBA in 3-point capturing, had been 10 of 34 from long-range.
Leonard scored 11 factors within the third, when the Clippers trailed by 18 early on. He arrange a dunk by Patrick Patterson and a 3-pointer from Mann earlier than Leonard hit simply his second 3 of the sport. They trailed 81-70 heading into the fourth.
Jokic was the one Denver starter not in double figures by halftime. He had 4 factors on 2-of-7 capturing, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
The Clippers had been out of types from the beginning. They had been simply 6 of 17 from the ground within the first quarter when Denver led by 13. Their foibles continued within the second. George was out on the break and missed a straightforward dunk. Nicolas Batum got here in to wash up and likewise missed.
Nuggets: Gordon had 13 and 6 factors in his first two video games. … They dished out 28 assists, the 14th straight recreation they’ve had 25 or extra.
Clippers: They held Denver to 39 factors within the second half after giving up 62 within the first half. … They received outscored 42-40 within the paint. … The ball received caught behind the backboard within the fourth and Batum’s peak got here in useful in getting it dislodged.
Newly acquired Rajon Rondo is injured, however he’s nonetheless contributing to the Clippers from the sideline appearing as a coach.
“Each time I got here again to the bench he’s letting me know one thing he noticed,” Mann mentioned. “It’s been actually cool. He simply is aware of the sport so nicely.”
Nuggets: Host Orlando on Sunday.
Clippers: Host the Lakers on Sunday.
Nuggets maintain rolling, beat Clippers in L.A. (video) initially appeared on NBCSports.com