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Preview: Nuggets Limp into Home Showdown with surging Clippers

The Denver Nuggets will head back home to the Pepsi Center, struggling recently going 1-3 in their last four games. They will face the surging Los Angeles Clippers who have won eight of their last nine and are battling to secure a top four seed, in the tightly contested Western Conference playoff race.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Game 77: 2014-15 NBA Season

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50-26 (23-15 on road)
Series tied 1-1
28-48 (17-20 at home)
Apr. 4, 2015
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
7:00 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Chris Paul PG Ty Lawson
J.J. Redick SG Randy Foye
Matt Barnes SF Wilson Chandler
Blake Griffin PF Kenneth Faried
DeAndre Jordan C J.J. Hickson
Notes
Clips Nation Blogs Denver Stiffs

Injuries
The Clippers are only 2 games behind both Memphis and Houston for the number two seed in the Western conference. Etc... Blake Griffin has shot 131 free throw attempts against the Nuggets during his five seasons in the NBA.

Remember back a few weeks ago, March 15th to be exact, the Denver Nuggets were 6-2 under newly named interim coach Melvin Hunt and everyone was singing the praises of Denver's new temporary leader. Since then however, Denver has gone 2-7 losing six of those seven games by 10+ points or more. Recently, the Nuggets just got blown out in San Antonio, 123-93 against the Spurs and were dominated from the get go. Denver seems in prime position to lose their fourth straight game when they face the surging Clippers at the Pepsi Center tonight.

The Clippers have been playing some phenomenal basketball lately, winning eight of their last nine games and have a great chance to secure a top four seed in the Western conference. Los Angeles's only loss in their past nine games, came to the hands of the 62-13 NBA leading Golden State Warriors, by only four points. The one saving grace for Denver in this game, might be the fact that they've played the Clippers very tough twice this season. Both teams have split the season series so far, with both games being decided by four and three points.

Prediction

Denver is struggling and even though this team has played better, more energetic basketball under Melvin Hunt, I just don't think they'll win this game. Plus given the level of importance of this game for the Clippers, Gallo probably sitting and the fact the Clippers have been very hot as of late, doesn't bold well for Denver. I expect Denver to play hard, but ultimately fall to a much superior team in Los Angeles.

Player to Watch

Chris Paul - Much of the Clippers recent success has had to do with the play of CP3. Paul has averaged 25.2 points, 10.9 assists and 2.2 steals per game, while shooting 51% from the field over the past ten games. The Clippers have scored over 110+ points in six of their past ten games, mainly with Paul at the forefront of their scoring. He's also recorded six double-doubles in his last ten games and is coming off a 41 point, 17 assist outing against Portland in the Rose Garden. The scariest thing about Paul's game lately, has been his ability to draw fouls and convert from the free throw line. Paul is 34-34 from the charity stripe over his past four games, look for him to attack Ty Lawson early and often.