Recap: Nuggets win a nail-biter 103-100 behind another 20+ point, 20+ rebound night from Jokic

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, especially the play in the second half but the Nuggets capture a much-needed win before traveling to Golden State

The Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 103-100 after surrendering another double-digit lead. They controlled this game until midway through the 3rd quarter in which the Clippers gained a 26-5 run, conquering Denver’s 17 point lead and creating a 5 point lead of their own. To Denver’s credit, they did not quit once Los Angeles obtained the momentum. Jokic and Rivers hit very clutch shots late in the game, and great isolation defense by Davon Reed sealed it as time expired.

Although will Barton struggled from three, only hitting 2-9 attempts, he did present a calming presence towards the latter half of the game. He ended up with 17 points 7-18 shooting and connected with Jokic on a couple of assists in the paint. The most surprising part of this game was the offensive electricity by Davon Reed. He scored 15 points on 3-4 from the three-point line and was extremely efficient from all areas on the floor. Next up, are the Golden State Warriors as Denver continues their California road trip. That game is scheduled for Tuesday at 8:00 MT.

1st Quarter

  • The Clippers initiated the contest with two layups from their center Ivica Zubac, but Denver responded with a 9-2 run on two threes from Rivers and one from Barton
  • Los Angeles attacked the paint with relative ease early. 12 of their first 16 points came in the paint as they held a 16-15 advantage
  • The Nugget defense allowed the Clippers very comfortable looks for most of the quarter. At the 3:00 mark in the quarter, they were shooting 70% from the field with 11 assists.
  • Nikola Jokic staggered with the bench lineup towards the end of the quarter but the offense struggled. The Clippers forced Jokic to get it out of his hands and when he did, it influenced the Nuggets into perimeter shots in which they were not converting.
  • Following a Nuggets timeout, the bench appeared to find their rhythm from beyond. Davon Reed, Facu Campazzo, and Bones hit consecutive threes to take a 32-30 advantage

Score: 32-30 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Jokic & Rivers – 6, Boston Jr. – 7

2nd Quarter

  • The Clipper offense looked very patient early in the half. The Nuggets switched their defenses from man to zone, so the Clippers took their time, identified the open lanes and attacked them
  • Although the Nugget bench seemed to be allergic to scoring in the paint, they were effective from the perimeter. Campazzo, Hyland, JaMychal, and Reed all hit threes, aiding a 39-35 lead
  • The Nuggets bench worked to close the paint and force outside jumpers which worked in their favor. Once the Clippers became cold from the perimeter, the Nuggets grew a 46-35 lead thanks to two Hyland layups and another Reed three
  • Davon Reed played some great minutes in the first half. Coming into this game, he only hit three threes but was able to match that number in the first half. He compiled 13 points in 11 minutes
  • Although the Denver defense lost their effectiveness when the starters entered, the offense maintained a 10 point lead at 59-49. The offense attacked the paint more which resulted in easy layups for Jokic and Jeff Green
  • The three ball kept Denver’s offense functioning for most of the first half. Six Nugget players recorded a three as they shot 10-24 from deep

Score: 64-55 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Reed – 13, Boston Jr. – 15

3rd Quarter

  • Nikola Jokic opened the quarter with aggressive play in the paint which assisted a 7-2 run. He scored Denver’s first 5 points including an and-one layup. To that point, he had 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists
  • The Nuggets continued to destroy the Clippers from all areas of the court early in the 3rd. Monte Morris led the charge with two threes and a mid range jumper to stretch Denver’s lead to 77-64
  • Brandon Boston Jr. and Ivica Zubac were essentially the only thorns in Denver’s side for a period of time. In 20 minutes, Boston Jr. had 18 points and Zubac 15
  • A 11-2 Clipper run diminished the Nugget lead to six at 79-73. Los Angeles increased their pace of play and hit 8 of their last 10 shots
  • A double digit lead would once again be ruined for the Nuggets. They held a 17 point lead at one point, but an Eric Bledsoe three would tie the game at 79 with 2:00 left in the 3rd
  • The Nugget offense absolutely disappeared for about seven minutes. In that time span, the Clippers obtained a 26-5 run and held Denver scoreless for over 5 minutes

Score: 83-79 Clippers

Scoring leaders: Jokic – 17, Boston Jr. – 18

4th Quarter

The offense continued their ice cold play to open the quarter. They missed 15 straight shots dating back to the 3rd quarter.

The Clippers intensity was infectious on both ends. They pressured the ball very well which forced Denver into several missed threes, and that energy translated to effectiveness offensively for them

Jokic and Davon Reed traded buckets to decrease the Clipper lead to two at 93-91, but every offensive possession appeared to be very difficult for Denver

After a Los Angeles timeout, the Nuggets eased their way back into their offensive rhythm. Barton hit an open mid range along with a Jokic three to give Denver a 96-94 lead

Austin Rivers hit his fourth triple of the game which was the biggest shot of the contest to that point. It gave the Nuggets a 101-95 lead with 1:30 left

Terance Mann slammed a huge put back dunk on Jokic’s head and that ignited energy throughout the arena. Although the Nuggets achieved a stop the next possession, Morris turned the ball over which resulted in a Kennard three and a 101-100 score

With under 24 seconds left, the Clippers were forced to foul and sent Jokic for the line for two as he extended the Nugget lead to three, 103-100 with 13 seconds left

Score: 103-100 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Jokic – 26, Bledsoe & Boston Jr. – 18

Stat Leaders

Points: Jokic – 26

Assists: Bledsoe – 10

Rebounds: Jokic – 22

Silent Hero of the Game: Davon Reed – 15 points, 1 block, 1 steal on 6-8 shooting and 3-4 from beyond the arc

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