Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari (8), of Italy, shoots against Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Tuesday, January 01, 2013 11:47 pm
Nuggets end Clippers' team-record win streak at 17
By DENNIS GEORGATOSAssociated Press
The Clippers' streak was the longest in the NBA since the Boston Celtics won 19 in a row from Nov. 15-Dec. 23, 2008.
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). Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe had 12 points apiece to lead Los Angeles.
The loss also ended a franchise-record seven-game road winning streak for the Clippers, who hadn't been beaten since a 105-98 setback against New Orleans on Nov. 26.
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.
Forward Andre Iguodala also helped out at point guard and chipped in with 12 points and eight assists for Denver, which lost to the Clippers in Los Angeles, 112-100 on Christmas Day.
After Eric Bledsoe hit a 3-pointer to pull the Clippers to 65-58 with 1:54 left in the third quarter, the Nuggets scored eight of the next nine points, including JaVale McGee's first 3-pointer of the season at the buzzer to take a 75-59 lead into the fourth quarter. McGee, who had a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Andre Miller on Denver's previous possession, hadn't even tried a 3-pointer in a game all season until then. He blew on his shooting hand after making the trey as if he had to cool it off.
The Clippers cut it to 87-73 with 4:02 remaining when Griffin made one of two free throws but the Nuggets, as they did throughout the game, had an answer with Iguodala getting loose in the paint for a slam. The Clippers didn't threaten the rest of the way.
The Nuggets took a 12-point lead with 3:01 left in the second quarter when Faried buried a short hook shot before settling for a 48-43 halftime advantage.
Los Angeles closed the period with a 9-2 run, starting with Chris Paul converting a three-point play followed by a dunk from DeAndre Jordon off a lob pass from Paul.
NOTES: 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.