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Preview: Nuggets face off against Clippers in must-win matinee

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Playoff atmosphere? Stiffs Night Out? Yes and YES!!!

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been five years since the Nuggets have played meaningful basketball in April, and though they have won four games in a row the team’s playoff hunt isn’t over yet. There are several scenarios in which Denver can make the postseason but the general premise is this: win and the Nuggets are in.

Next up on the docket is a much anticipated road match up with the Los Angeles Clippers, whom the Nuggets choked away a crucial game against in late February. Denver has since gained a two game lead over L.A. in the standings and a win would officially eliminate the Clippers from the playoffs. The Nuggets are the better team and have been playing great basketball - but the Clippers are playing for their season and the L.A. nightlife + a very early tipoff is a bad combination for just about anyone.

The Nuggets have willed their way to four straight victories. Let’s hope the streak continues today.

The Basics

Who: Denver Nuggets (44-25) at Los Angeles Clippers (42-37)

When: 1:30 PM MT

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles CA

How to watch: Altitude, NBA TV

Rival blog: Clips Nation

Injury Report: Gary Harris - out (knee); Tyler Lydon - out (knee)

Opening Thought

Not much needs to be said about the importance of this game. A win would keep Denver on pace with Minnesota, who beat the Lakers last night to take sole possession of the 8th seed. A loss puts even more pressure on the Nuggets in the last two games of the season next week and would be a blow to Denver’s chances.

The win streak hasn’t all been pretty but the Nuggets have always found a way to get the job done. They are turning into a resilient team that overcomes mistakes and closes out games. Every player is important, even those in the smallest of roles, and collectively the Nuggets appear to be more mentally tough than they had let on for pretty much all of this season. They are peaking at just the right time. They have shot themselves in the foot time and time again but still have found a way to stay in the driver’s seat. No matter what happens in the next five days, we can at least say the Nuggets have made it this far.

Stiff’s Night Out is TODAY!!!!

It’s the biggest game of the year. There’s no excuse not to be there. Come watch the Nuggets, bond with fellow fans, win tickets to Monday’s game against Portland, high-five Rocky, and just have a good time enjoying good food and adult beverages. Details below: