ALL but one of the eight Denver players finished in double figures as the Nuggets dominated the undermanned Los Angeles Clippers, 129-114, at the Pepsi Center on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
Will Barton set new career-highs with 35 points and seven triples, while Nikola Jokic had another triple-double with 17 markers, 14 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Nuggets’ balanced attack against the reeling Clippers, who were without Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan.
Denver started out flat but went on a 15-2 run midway through the first to set the tone for the rout as the Nuggets firepower proved too strong despite the Clippers’ hot shooting.
Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field and from beyond the arc, with the Clippers making 16 triples compared to 15 from the Nuggets. But Denver unleashed a 15-3 blitz bridging the third and fourth quarters to lead by as much as 25 points, and the gap never got below 12 the rest of the way.
Jameer Nelson had 16 points while Kenneth Faried scored 12 off the bench. Mason Plumlee and Jamal Murray ended up with 10 points apiece for the Nuggets, who have won four straight games to extend their lead at the eighth spot in the West to 2.5 games with a 33-35 record.
Juan Hernangomez came a point shy from hitting double figures with nine markers.
The Clippers slid to fifth place, a half-game over the Oklahoma City Thunder, after falling to 40-29 with their third loss in a row. JJ Redick had 22 points, while Chris Paul added 18 markers and 14 assists. Austin Rivers chipped in 17 points as well in a losing effort.