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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 5, 2024 1:07 am

Clippers start slowly, then rally and hold off Nuggets

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Paul George scored 28 points as the Los Angeles Clippers recovered from a slow start to end a five-game home losing streak with a 102-100 victory Thursday over the visiting Denver Nuggets.

James Harden added 20 points and eight assists for the Clippers (48-28), who solidified their hold on fourth place in the Western Conference with six regular-season games remaining — five of those at home.

Los Angeles’ Ivica Zubac finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds, Russell Westbrook had 12 points and Norman Powell contributed 11 points.

The victory came in Los Angeles’ second consecutive game without Kawhi Leonard, who is dealing with a sore right knee. The Nuggets were playing their seventh consecutive game without Jamal Murray, who is close to a return from right knee inflammation.

Nikola Jokic amassed 26 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists and Aaron Gordon added 18 points for Denver (53-24), which had won its previous two games.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope put up 16 points and Michael Porter Jr. added 14 for the Nuggets, who fell a half-game behind the Minnesota Timberwolves (53-23) for first place in the Western Conference.

Denver led 16-4 just over four minutes into the game and was up by as many as 17 points in the opening period. Los Angeles recovered thanks to a 13-0 run spanning the first and second quarters and powered its way to a 53-49 led entering halftime. Harden scored 14 points in the second quarter.

The Clippers led 87-79 with 7:54 remaining in the game when Nuggets coach Michael Malone was ejected on a double technical while protesting a non-call on Porter. Los Angeles pushed the advantage to 90-79 before Denver went on a 6-0 run to get within five with 5:40 remaining.

Four consecutive free throws from Zubac gave the Clippers a 102-97 lead before a Jokic 3-pointer with 56.1 seconds remaining got the Nuggets back within a possession.

The Nuggets had two chances to tie or take the lead, but Gordon turned the ball over with 33.1 seconds left and Jokic missed a 3-point attempt that would have won it at the buzzer.

Harden reached 6,000 career rebounds in the second quarter to join Oscar Robertson, LeBron James and Westbrook as the only players NBA history with at least 25,000 points, 7,000 assists and 6,000 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

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