The LA Clippers laid down a marker with an unstoppable performance in Game 1 of their second round series against the Denver Nuggets Thursday, and now they’ll try to do it all over again as the teams face off Saturday evening in Game 2.
LA rolled in a 120-97 win in Game 1 that wasn’t even as close as that scoreline suggests. After the teams finished the first quarter tied, the Clippers ran away with the game, to the point that both teams emptied their benches pretty early in the fourth quarter to stay fresh for another day.
Where: AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, Florida
When: Saturday, September 5 at 6:00 p.m. PT
How to watch: TNT
Projected Starting Lineups
Clippers: Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris Sr., Ivica Zubac
Nuggets: Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Jerami Grant, Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic
Nuggets: Will Barton (right knee), Vlatko Cancar (left foot) — OUT
The Clippers are also riding high after the news that Montrezl Harrell won NBA Sixth Man of the Year Friday. The forward had a terrific Game 1, so hopefully the award and being recognized for his contributions will push him on to keep going for that NBA title.
I think the big question coming in is if the Nuggets will shrug off their opening game and come out much stronger in Game 2. Jamal Murray was unstoppable in their series against the Utah Jazz, but he was very quiet Thursday. The mental and physical toll of a seven-game series seemed to get Denver in Game 1. But they’ve already come down from a big deficit in a series to win it, so LA will aim to make sure no hope is given to the Nuggets as this series progresses. And with LA healthy, finally, they could finally get that magical run of games together and build some rhythm as the series — and hopefully the playoffs beyond —progress.