Nuggets force Game 7, defeat Clippers (111-98) in Game 6

The Denver Nuggets looked to remain undefeated in elimination games during the 2020 NBA Playoffs, taking on the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6.

Unlike Game 5, the Denver Nuggets started Game 6 with a sense of urgency, scoring the first six points of the game. Still, it was the Los Angeles Clippers that led 13-8 as Denver took the first timeout of the game.

After Nuggets veteran Paul Millsap picked up a technical foul, the Clippers pushed their lead to seven (23-16) before they took their first timeout of the contest with 3:26 remaining. Finishing through heavy traffic, LA’s JaMychal Green gave the Clippers an eight-point lead (34-26) in the waning seconds of the first quarter.

A Michael Porter Jr. 3-pointer and a stylish Monte Morris layup brought the feisty Nuggets within four, but Los Angeles pushed their lead back to seven (45-38) with 7:40 to play in the half.

With 5:52 to play, Denver cut the Clippers’ lead to two (47-45) following a Nikola Jokic 3-pointer. However, because the Nuggets’ began to take ill-advised shots and turned the ball over time after time, LA finished the half on a 16-2 run and entered the break with a 63-47 lead.

Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 31 points in the first half, but Denver’s wunderkinds produced at a high rate as well. Jokic totaled 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists, and Jamal Murray added 10 points and three assists.

Murray took a scary fall driving to the basket and making contact with George after the latter blocked his layup attempt. Fortunately for Nuggets fans, Murray toughed it out and remained in the game. Denver, still fighting, trailed by 15 (68-55) with 9:11 to play in the third.

It turned out the incident swung the momentum, as it prompted a huge push from the Nuggets. Denver went on a 17-0 run, cutting LA’s lead to just one (73-72) with 3:29 remaining. A slam from Murray in the final minute of the period brought the Nuggets within three and Denver trailed by just two points (79-77) entering the fourth.

Torrey Craig‘s personal 5-0 run gave the Nuggets a three-point lead (82-79) to begin the fourth, and the Clippers took a timeout with 10:59 to play.

With 6:59 on the clock, Porter gave Denver a five-point lead. Two minutes later, the Nuggets pushed that lead to eight (99-91) following a Gary Harris three-pointer.

Jokic and Harris then got hot down the stretch, as the Nuggets finished the game on a 12-7 run, and defeated the Clippers 111-98.

The Joker had yet another miraculous performance, finishing the game with 34 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Murray added 21 points and five assists, and Harris chipped in 16 points and four assists as well.

Los Angeles was led by George’s 33 points (on 9-21 shooting). Kawhi totaled 25 points in the contest.

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The Nuggets have once again scrapped their way back into this series, and the win-or-go-home Game 7 is set for Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 9 p.m. (EST).