Nuggets end Clippers' win streak at 17
Updated: 2013-01-03 07:59
By Associated Press in Denver (China Daily)
During an undefeated five-week run by the Los Angeles Clippers, the Denver Nuggets were just another team they beat along the way. The second time around, the Nuggets were the team that ground the Clippers' streak to a halt.
Danilo Gallinari led six Nuggets players in double figures with 17 points and Denver stopped the Clippers' franchise- record winning streak at 17 games with a 92-78 victory on Tuesday night.
The Clippers' streak was the longest in the NBA since the Boston Celtics won 19 in a row from Nov 15-Dec 23, 2008.
"We were all a step slower today," said Blake Griffin, who had 12 points for the Clippers. "We've got to be better than that. We're not going to sit and cry on the plane and get beat down. We're not going to cause ourselves to lose our confidence, despite what people want us to do. That's the best thing about the NBA - you've got another game."
Griffin went 4 of 11 from the field - the first time he's shot below 50 percent in 18 games.
Andre Iguodala said the victory against the NBA's hottest team could help Denver build "our confidence, our swagger".
"The Clippers have been playing with that the last 18 games. That builds into them winning. They have the mentality every night they're going to go out there and win. We've got to build the same thing and try to string along the same type of win streak," Iguodala said.
The loss was the first for the Clippers since a 105-98 setback against New Orleans on Nov. 26. It also marked the end of a franchise-record seven-game winning streak on the road.
Kenneth Faried added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who won their eighth in a row at home.
The Clippers, whose point total was two above their season-low, were hurt by poor shooting from 3-point range (5 of 29, 17.2 percent) and the free throw line (13 of 29, 44.8 percent).
Eric Bledsoe also had 12 points, DeAndre Jordan had 11 and Chris Paul 10 for the Clippers.
"Maybe two or three of the threes that we missed, they had a hand in our face," Paul said. "But we got all the shots that we wanted. There are going to be nights like that. It just hasn't happened for a while."
Andre Miller, starting in place of point guard Ty Lawson, had 12 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets. Lawson, the team said, has been bothered by tightness in his left Achilles' tendon for the past week, forcing him to miss a game for the first time this season.
"We don't win this game without Andre," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "He just got us easy baskets, got a lot of guys involved, gave our team a lot of confidence."
Miller said: "It was a good win against a good team. We beat them every quarter. It was a weird game, kind of slow. Both teams want to get up and down the court. It was one of those nights where we fell into some easy baskets. We controlled our turnovers and had the energy on our side."
Clippers PG Chauncey Billups, a former Nugget and native of Denver, missed the game as he continues to recover from a foot injury that has kept him on the sideline this season ... The Clippers began a stretch of four games in five days that resumes Wednesday in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors ... The Nuggets improved to 5-1 on New Year's Day ... Miller had a double double for the 204th time in his career and the first time this season ... The Clippers' 17-game streak was the second-longest ever snapped by the Nuggets. The Chicago Bulls were on an 18-game run when the Nuggets beat them on Feb 4, 1996.
(China Daily 01/03/2013 page12)