The Los Angeles Clippers (43-22) suffered their 3rd loss in row last night as they fell to the Denver Nuggets (43-21) 110-104 at Staples Center. The Clippers started off the game well, hitting their first 7 shots in a row. Then after that the ball movement stopped and their offense became stagnated. They started falling behind when they only scored 19 points in the second quarter. They started to make a run in the second half and actually briefly took a lead. But their momentum was stymied when Paul George got called for a weak flagrant foul against Facundo Campazzo.
The Nuggs were in full control of the game up until the final few minutes when the Clips cut the deficit down to 3. However, Demarcus Cousins got called for another weak-ass foul on Jokic on a 3 point attempt. The Clippers challenged it but lost. The Joker made all 3 of his free throws. The Clippers failed to score on the following possession, then Campazzo hit a corner 3 thereby expanding the Denver lead to 9 with less than 2 minutes to go. The Nuggets secured the W and won the season series against the Clippers. They have established themselves in sole possession of 3rd place in the Western Conference.
STAR OF THE GAME
Nikola Jokic with his 30 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, and a block. After their second best player Jamal Murray suffered a season ending injury, people thought the Nuggets were going to subsequently start to fall in the standings. That has not been the case due to the outstanding play of the Joker. He had another near triple double last night, and just had his way the entire game. He is at this point very likely going to be this year’s MVP. With his slow and deliberate style of play, he could very well play until his 40’s. I for one don’t want to see that, and I don’t think the Clippers do either. He kills them every time.
The Clippers’ current losing skid. They got Kawhi Leonard back last night, but due to his limited minutes it did not make much of a difference. The team has been a bit of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde all year. They will look unbeatable for a stretch, then will follow that up by looking like a bunch of lazy, uninspired, frauds. The playoffs are just around the corner, and they don’t want to be on a losing spell going into them. They have one of the ‘easier’ schedules to end the season, so hopefully they can get their groove back and go into the postseason on a high note.
Facundo Campazzo and his 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. I had absolutely no idea who this guy was going into this game. He is apparently a 30 year old rookie who made a name for himself overseas before coming across the pond to the NBA. He got the start in place of the injured Jamal Murray, and although he is not as dynamic, athletic, or explosive of a player compared to Murray, the guy just makes winning plays. Example being: he sunk a big time 3 pointer late in the game when the Clippers were going on a run, to put Denver up 9, and all but seal the game for them.
Vs. Toronto Raptors, Tuesday, May 4th, 7PM Pacific
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The Joker Makes The Joker Makes