Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor
The Clippers couldn't buy points and the Nuggets took advantage, snapping the Clippers' franchise best road winning streak (7) and overall winning streak (17).
I just want to start out with a disclaimer for any Nuggets fans who read this recap: The Nuggets played very well. They outplayed and outhustled the Clippers and they deserved to win.
That said, I'm really not worried about this game. It doesn't matter if the Clippers had found a way to win by one, if they had lost by one, or if they had gotten blown out as they did. The Clippers played a bad game, and the scoreboard doesn't have anything to do with it.
There's no complex explanation for this loss. As Vinny Del Negro said, "We couldn't score the basketball." The Clippers shot 38.5% from the field. They had a horrific 17.2% from three. On the season, they shoot 48.1% from the field and 35.5% from three. The shots were the same tonight. A few tough attempts by Jamal Crawford and Caron Butler, but those weren't what killed the Clippers. I don't have every play of the game memorized, but I know that Jamal missed at least one wide open three. So did Matt Barnes. Willie Green missed a TON of wide open looks.
These are shots that the Clippers have gotten, and made at a high percentage, all year. They just didn't fall tonight. The Clippers are a better team than the Nuggets, but tonight the Clippers just didn't play their game. I know this sounds dismissive, but that's really how I feel about this game. LA had a bad game, and lost to a good, yet inferior, team. It'll happen from time to time, but there's no point in dwelling on it any more than Clippers fans dwelt upon a 19-point win over Toronto.
Look, at the end of the day, a loss is a loss. It doesn't matter if the streak ended tonight or tomorrow or a week from now. It had to end eventually. The Nuggets had won 90% of their home games coming into tonight, so this is as excusable a place to lose as any.
There's just not a whole lot to say about this game. Clippers' game balls go to Bledsoe and Jordan, who had a combined 23 points on 9-11 shooting. Jordan also had 11 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks in only 26 minutes of playing time.
Tomorrow the Clippers play again in Oakland, where they will take on the Warriors, who trail them by 3.5 games for first place in the division and conference. And Golden State will have to play their best to compete with the hottest team in the NBA- a Clippers team that has won 17 of their last 18 games.