The Los Angeles Clippers (32-18) suffered their second straight last night, this time against their bitter rival the Denver Nuggets (30-18) 101-94 at Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Nuggs the last time the two teams met this past Christmas, but that was a very different Denver team. They do not have Gary Harris anymore, and now have Aaron Gordon. He looks to be fitting in very well with his new team. The Clippers got Paul George and Marcus Morris Sr. back, but everyone was ice cold from the field pretty much the whole game. They blew more than a few fast break layups that came back to haunt. The Nuggets’ best player, MVP candidate Nikola Jokic was not playing all that well, but they were getting a balanced attack from everyone else.
This being so, the Nuggets had a double digit lead getting as high as 18, pretty much the whole game. They were able to counter any time the Clippers seemed to start to get it going. The Clippers never took a lead, but came close as they finally made a run in the fourth quarter. They had a chance to take a lead, but the go-ahead basket by Kawhi rimmed out. It went halfway down, and then dropped out almost as if the ball had a will of its own. The basketball gods just did not want the Clippers to have this one. They played hard but they did not have it no matter how hard they tried. So once again they had to take an L from the team that sent them home from the playoffs last year. It seems the Nuggets have the Clippers’ number. Thankfully they will have a few days off to rest up for their big game against their cross town rival Lakers on Sunday.
STAR OF THE GAME
Jamal Murray and his 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists. Whenever the Nuggets needed a big basket to stave off the Clippers from making a run, Murray was there to sink one. He made 3 out of 6 3 pointers, and each one of them was big time. All 3 of them came right when they needed one. I do not like this guy one bit, so it pains me to give him any sort of credit. He is good though I have to admit. He is a matchup nightmare for the Clips. Even when they seem to be doing a good job defensively on him for a length of time during a game, the baskets he ends up making turn out to be clutch. I am tired of losing to the Nuggets and I am especially tired of losing to this guy. I’m not sure who I hate more, him or the Joker. I want the Clippers to be challenged in the postseason, but I hope from the depths of my soul that they do not have to face these Nuggets again. I would like revenge, but I just don’t think the Clippers are capable of getting it.
Are you sick of me complaining about the the team’s health yet? I know I am sick of doing it. But it remains the biggest issue for the team right now. It has been a problem for them for years now. The team could have really used the defensive presence of Serge Ibaka on Jokic. Zubac did a good job on him when he was out there, but he got into some foul trouble. So Patrick Patterson was forced to have to try and guard him, and he did not fare as well. It also would have been nice to finally see the newly acquired point guard Rajon Rondo. He has had more than enough to time to absorb the Clippers’ offense, so he must be continuing to sit due to some sort of injury. The team needs to figure out how they are going to integrate him yesterday. Games in the regular season are running out, time is wasting. This team needs to get healthy and figure things out, because even with the return of several key players last night, the team looked disjointed.
Michael Porter Jr. and his 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block. Every time the Clippers face this guy he makes them regret passing on him in the draft. I know the team doctors advised against it because of his back issues, but sometimes you got to take a chance. Think of how good they would look right now if he was playing for them instead. It makes it all the more aggravating watching him torch the Clips. He has molded into a solid player, and is a rising star. Does he have a bad back or what? Apparently not because whenever he is facing LAC, he is all over the place. He seems to try and stick it to them for passing over him, and he does a good job doing it. This team has become exceptionally difficult to guard now with his rising star talent. You have to pick your poison between him and Murray on the perimeter. Unfortunately they both had it going last night damn it.
Vs. Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, April 4th at 12:30PM
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LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS GET NUGGED LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS GET NUGGED LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS GET NUGGED