Game Preview: Clippers At Nuggets


Feb 3, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (3) drives to the basket between Los Angeles Clippers guard J.J. Redick (4) and center DeAndre Jordan (6) during the first half at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Denver Nuggets will attempt to dethrone the Los Angeles Clippers, who are coming off an 11-game winning streak, at home in the Pepsi Center.  This wouldn’t be the first time Denver has ended a Clippers streak: just 3 months ago, Denver ended LA’s 17-game streak, and they defeated LA again on February 3rd  with Randy Foye’s incredible buzzer-beater.  If the past repeats itself, it’ll be good news for the Nuggets.

However, there’s one big difference between this game and Denver’s last victory over Los Angeles:  Chris Paul.  CP3 was out with a separated shoulder for the last game against Denver, but this time, he’s back in action and coming off 16 points and 15 assists against the Cavaliers.  CP3 has a 52.9% shooting average over his last nine visits to Denver, and has been averaging 22.2 points per game.  Combined with Blake Griffin’s 24.3 points per game, it could spell bad news for Denver.  Remember — Griffin scored 36 points against Denver in the game he lost when they didn’t have CP3’s help.

To make matters worse, Nuggets darling Ty Lawson had a dismal game against the Hawks last night, shooting 0-of-12 from the field.

The good news for the Nuggets?  Kenneth Faried has been on fire lately.  He had 25 points against the Hawks and 24 during Denver’s win against the Heat.  In the few weeks since the trade deadline (where Manimal, thankfully, stayed in Denver), he’s played some of the best basketball of his career, and all signs point towards that continuing tonight.

And here’s some stats that make the loss against the Hawks even more infuriating, but should make Nuggets fans hopeful for tonight:  in the game against Atlanta on Saturday, the Nuggets won points in the paint (44-26), bench points (39-13), fast-break points (22-12) and second-chance points (14-8).  If they keep that momentum going tonight, and if Ty Lawson can shake this funk, there’s no reason the Nuggets can’t end the Clippers’ streak.