Los Angeles starters take control of game early against Denver.
los angeles» If ever there was a time the Nuggets needed their bench, it was Tuesday night. They were the bunch with the freshest legs. Only four played off the bench Monday night against Dallas, and none any more than Will Barton’s 23 minutes.
But the bench needed the game to at least be in striking distance for it to work. And for a few, fleeting moments it was. But Clippers starters amped up their play late in the second quarter and led the charge that blew out the Nuggets 119-102 at the Staples Center.
This is how it broke down: Clippers starters 77 points; Nuggets starters 42 points.
Nothing else mattered. At least not enough to significantly impact matters.
The Nuggets were down 16 early but battled back to within two, when Barton knocked in a shot to make the score 46-44 with 6:40 left in the period. But then Chris Paul and his supporting cast got down to the business of providing the knockout blow.
That blow was a 22-9 haymaker to close the second. L.A. took a 15point lead into the third, and it grew out of control from there, ballooning to as many as 29. The only drama left in the game was whether the Staples Center crowd would get free Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches if a Nuggets’ player missed consecutive free throws. It didn’t happen.
The loss snapped the Nuggets’ three-game winning streak. The Nuggets barely eclipsed the 100point mark. They had been 0-7 this season when they failed to reach 100 points.
Meanwhile, Clippers players put up big numbers. Paul nearly recorded a triple-double with 16 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds. J.J. Redick hit 7-of-9 3pointers
Fon his way to 27 points. DeAndre Jordan had a doubledouble of 13 points and 13 rebounds. Los Angeles made 16 3pointers in the game.
The Nuggets were led by Barton’s 22 points. Kenneth Faried logged a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Danilo Gallinari had one of his better shooting nights this season, scoring 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. He made 4-of-8 shots from the 3point line.
After two days off, the Nuggets return home to face Atlanta on Friday.
Nuggets guard Will Barton takes a shot over Clippers center Marreese Speights during the first half of Denver’s 119-102 loss in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Chris Carlson, The Associated Press