Clippers hand Nuggets worst defeat of season, 132-111

Clippers hand Nuggets worst defeat of season, 132-111

23/12/2018

The Denver Nuggets have hit a few bumps en route to the Western Conference's best record.

Just not like this.

Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris each scored 21 points, Montrezl Harrell added 20 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat Denver 132-111 on Saturday for the Nuggets' worst loss of the season.

The Nuggets (21-10) had not lost by more than 10 points and had won four straight.

"That was a tough one," Nuggets forward Monte Morris said. "The Clippers just wanted it a little bit more."

That was most obvious in the paint, where the hard-driving Clippers outscored the Nuggets 80-50.

"Eighty points is not a number I'm used to seeing on a stat sheet," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "That's just them beating us off the dribble. That's them rebounding every missed shot. That's them outworking us and (us) not being ready to compete at the level we needed to compete tonight."

The Clippers shot 57.6 percent from the field.

"I thought our tempo set the tone," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "Our pace tonight (was) maybe as good as I've seen. I mean, we never stopped it. Just continued movement and pacing. I thought we did it throughout the game."

The Clippers went on a 15-4 run in the middle of the first quarter, but their cause was aided when Denver's leading scorer, Nikola Jokic, was ejected. He led the Nuggets with 19 points despite playing only 20 minutes.

The Clippers led by 11 when the 7-foot Jokic was ejected in the third quarter for screaming at an official for the second time. Malone said he wasn't sure what Jokic had yelled to draw the ejection.

"You'd have to ask him," Malone said.

Jokic did not make himself available to reporters after the game.

After losing four consecutive games, the Clippers have won two straight.

"Our throw-out (ejection) defense is phenomenal," Rivers quipped. "That was part of our gameplan."

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