The Denver Nuggets suffered a tough loss on the second night of a back to back and are suddenly on the outside looking in.
Late game execution dooms the Nuggets yet again as they lose 109-104 to a Clippers team that was right behind them in the playoff race, well before tonight anyway. The Nuggets now have a record of 23-22 and are on the outside of the top eight in the West as the Clippers leap frog them to seventh in the conference with a record of 23-21. The Clippers were hot coming into the game and are now on a six game winning streak, but the Nuggets had plenty of chances to win this game and failed to get it done in the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets had a strong first half and led 59-50 at the break, but were outscored 59-45 in the second half and found a way to give a game away that looked so promising. Three-point percentage was one of the Nuggets downfalls as they shot just 10-30 from downtown, which is good for only 20 percent. Turnovers were an issue yet again as the Nuggets committed 21 of those, which turned into 23 points for the Clippers. Wilson Chandler, Mason Plumlee, and Garry Harris all committed four a piece, with many of them coming in the second half.
The Clippers would finish the night with five guys scoring in double-figures and were led in the category by Blake Griffin who had 20. The Nuggets did a good job for the most part on Griffin, but still allowed him get to many easy buckets in the lane for most of the night. Gary Harris did a great job defensively on Clippers sharpshooter Lou Williams, who scored just 17 points and was only 6-18 from the field. Williams averaged 23.3 points per game coming into tonight and has averaged over 30 points per game since the end of December, so props to Harris for locking him down.
Milos Teodosic was a bit of a surprise star for the Clippers scoring 15 points on an effective 5-9 from the field. Teodosic was 3-7 from three and also had five assists and three steals. You may remember Teodosic from his time playing with Nikola Jokic last summer for the Serbian national team and it was fun seeing those two sharing the court yet again. Teodosic is a 30-year old rookie, but certainly showed flashes against the Nuggets as to why he belongs in the NBA.
— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) January 18, 2018
The Nuggets had six players who scored in double-figures and were led by Gary Harris who had 19. Jokic was right behind Harris with 18, but struggled from behind the arc shooting just 1-8. The Clippers were consistently allowing Jokic to shoot the open three all night, but he was just unable to knock them down. Mason Plumlee drew the start with Jamal Murray being out, and played well scoring 16 points and leading the team with 14 rebounds. Another stat that stood out from the game was from Emmanuel Mudiay who also filled in for Murray’s absence and scored 11 points off the bench on 4-11 shooting. Mudiay hasn’t really seen the floor since the beginning of December, and it was good to see him back out there and still playing with some confidence.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 18, 2018
The Nuggets have a day off tomorrow before they’re back in action Friday night at Pepsi Center to take on the Phoenix Suns.