Denver Nuggets had a strong response after a loss in Game 1 of the series against the Los Angeles Clippers. They would defeat the rivals, 110-101 last night, not allowing the biggest champions for winning the title to have one lead throughout the entire game.
It was evident that the Nuggets entered this game more motivated and with a certain dose of fury after being trashed in the previous match.
Right away, Nikola Jokic and the boys began pounding the Clippers, making a 14-2 run early on, an continuing to play at the same level afterward. The end of the first period saw Michael Malone’s boys leading 44-25, slashing the rival in all aspects of play.
With Torey Craig making a two-pointer at 1:56 into the second, Denver had a 54-31 advantage, and shortly afterward, the Clips had one small run, which would see them coming down to 57-46, but without any consequences for the Nuggets.
The third period saw a true playoff fight, with just 38 points combined, with both sides playing the defense the best they can. The Nuggets improved this part of the game enormously since Gary Harris came back, as he is one of the best defensive guards in the league.
Clippers tried to make a push in the final quarter, but unlike so many times before during this campaign, they didn’t have the solution on how to take down the poised Nuggets. Unlike Game 1, their shooting percentage was far lower, 40.9% from the field and 28.1% from downtown.
Kawhi Leonard had just 13 points, firing 17 shots and making only four. He did add 10 rebounds and 8 assists, but that wasn’t enough for his team to win. Paul George had 22 points, 8 boards, and two blocks, and assists each in 42 minutes. Ivica Zubac scored 15, grabbing nine rebounds, while Lou Williams had 13 off the bench. Montrezl Harrell ended the night with 10, while JaMychal Green posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.
On the other side, Jokic was in the middle of attention with a monstrous double-double of his own. The Serbian center had 26 points and 18 rebounds, shooting 10-for-17 from the field, 4-for-5 from a distance. Jamal Murray had one point more with six assists while Harris and Paul Millsap scored 13 buckets each. Porter Jr had 11, and Monte Morris 10.
Overall, the Nuggets were shooting 45.1% from the floor, making 15 threes in 40 tries, 37.5%.
Game 3 is set for Monday night.