Nuggets fall to the ninth spot in the Western Conference after the Los Angeles came from behind to prove victorious 122-120.
When the Nuggets had a 19 point lead near the middle of the third quarter, it looked like a big time victory was well in reach. A win would give the Nuggets the edge on the Clippers in the standings and would give them a chance to secure the tiebreaker in the teams final matchup of the year. The Clippers had other ideas though and somehow found a way to come from behind to beat the Nuggets and move into the eighth spot in the West.
With the loss, the Nuggets record moves to 33-28 and moves them into the ninth spot in the West. The loss also gives the Clippers the tiebreaker over the Nuggets, which could prove big come playoff time in April. This loss in arguably the Nuggets worst of the season in terms of the timing of the game and the implications it had on the playoff picture.
Boban Marjanovic was the Clipper who really sparked the comeback for the Clippers as he had a game high +27 in just 15 minutes of action. Boban ate the Nuggets alive in the paint scoring 18 points of 5-8 from the field, 8-9 from the free-throw line. Boban’s rebounding allowed him to get to the line as five of his six rebounds were offensive.
Yes that was real life fantasy tonight in Denver.
— NBA Fantasy (@NBAFantasy) February 28, 2018
Lou Williams also helped fuel the comeback for the Clippers as he scored 25 points on 10-18 from the field. Williams showed why he’s one of the best scorers in the NBA and was a big factor in the Clippers victory over the Nuggets. Williams and Boban both came off the bench as bench points proved to be huge for the Clippers as they outscored the Nuggets 74-24 in that category.
After leading by as many as 19, the loss for the Nuggets is inexcusable and comes at almost the worst time in the season. With under a month remaining in the season, the Nuggets have to find a way to learn from this game and build off it as they head to Memphis to face the Grizzlies on Friday. This is a game that can either help you or hurt you for the rest of the season. The way the Nuggets bounce back form this loss will be huge as the team looks to make the playoffs for the first time in four years.
The good news from Tuesday nights game was the return of Paul Millsap. After missing the last 44 games with a left wrist injury, Millsap returned playing 23 minutes and scoring nine points and hauling in seven rebounds. Millsap’s play on the defensive end of the court is what really stood out in his return as he forced two steals, two blocks, and did a phenomenal job contesting shots at the rim.
and a quiet has come over the "how does Millsap fit in when he returns" hot takes pic.twitter.com/zco1hJJOad
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) February 28, 2018
Gary Harris also had a strong game for the Nuggets with 23 points on 7-13 from the field. Harris found his rhythm offensively going 4-6 from three and was a big factor in the Nuggets having a chance to win the game on the final possession of the game. Harris drilled a three to make it a one point game with 17 seconds remaining, but the Clippers were still able to grind it out as Jamal Murray lost the ball on the Nuggets final play of the game.
The Nuggets now have two days off before they’re back in action Friday night against the Grizzlies.