For the second straight game, the Clippers built a lead over 20 points and saw their opponent whittle it down as the contest wore on. Once again, the Clippers stayed composed — despite a terrifying incident with their best player — and held on to their advantage, winning 121-108 against the Nuggets.
The Clippers were unconscious from beyond the arc, hitting 19-of-38 threes compared to 11 for Denver. That 24-point margin from distance was too much for the Nuggets to overcome, despite a spirited rally in the fourth quarter that had to conjure some memories of the playoff series a few months ago.
This time around, however, the Clippers just didn’t miss shots. They were a little sloppy with their turnovers and fouled too frequently, but their offense was otherwise on point. They got into their actions early and worked to find the best shot even if the first option was cut off. On several occasions, the Clippers were trapped and rather than force the issue, they simply made the extra pass to find an open shooter elsewhere on the perimeter. Nine Clippers made a 3-pointer, led by five triples from Paul George, who continued his scorching start to the season.
George finished with 23 points on 14 shot attempts, leading the way for the road team. He also added nine assists, helping to offset his six turnovers. Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, Nic Batum, and Ivica Zubac all also finished in double figures.
The Clippers completed the rare double of being able to rain jumpers on the Nuggets from 3-point range while also bullying them on the glass. They outrebounded Denver by five and scored four more second-chance points, controlling the two most important areas of the court.
This was an important win for the Clippers to hold off the Nuggets late and do so without Leonard down the stretch. Now comes another 2020 playoff opponent on Sunday.