The Los Angeles Clippers lead wire-to-wire and easily obtained the franchise record for wins with a 117-105 victory over the Denver Nuggets. Blake Griffin lead all scorers with 24 points. Chris Paul (31 points, 10 assists) and DeAndre Jordan (13 points, 16 rebounds) each had double-doubles. Kenneth Faried lead Denver with 21 points. Denver only played eight players tonight. All five starters finished in double figures.
By the time TNT switched to this game from the preceding Knicks-Nets blowout, the score was 13-0 Clippers. LA made 6 of their first 7 three pointers. It wasn't until the end of the third quarter that Denver was able to cut the lead down to single digits. Denver trailed by as many as 23 but after shooting 65% in the third quarter, finishing the third on a 19-4 run, the game was surprisingly within reach. Alas, after moving to within five points, Denver appeared to be gassed. Even without playing Blake Griffin or Chris Paul playing in the final period, Los Angeles was able regain control and pull away from the surging Nuggets.
So often this season, Denver has come out cold only to use the third quarter as a springboard to victory. I don't know what kind of halftime speeches Coach Brian Shaw is conducting in the locker room, but the night and day difference is as positive as it is frustrating. What can Coach do differently before the games to put his players in a position to compete off the bat?
Items of note:
Blake Griffin swatted Timofey Mozgov in the face after attempting a block. The play resulted in Griffin's 16th technical foul. If the League does not rescind the T, Griffin will be suspended for tomorrow's game against Portland.
Blake Griffin is featured in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. The interview can be read here. It features extensive talk on slapping Justin Bieber, flatulence, and body hair.
Jan Vaseline went 1/2 on lob finishes. The first missed horribly. His second went in off a nice pass from Quincy Miller, but it looked like an accident. Jan hustled, had some nice put backs, and contributed three steals (his specialty).
Mozgov left early in the game after banging knees with Jordan. Thankfully, he wasn't out for long, returning to complete a double-double.
Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to this fantastic blog. I appreciate all the positive feedback and constructive criticism. May the ping pong balls bounce our way this June, and may the Nuggets' collective knees repair quickly and stronger than ever this offseason.