The LA Clippers were coming off a big win the night before in Utah when they took on the hot Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center on February 2nd by the score of 112-91. The first half was a tough back and forth battle including some spectacular dunks by Blake Griffin (what’s new?). The Clips actually were leading 30-11 after Chris Paul hit an outside jumper before Denver and their bench rallied them. Griffin and Paul were named as starters to the all star game for the west team earlier in the day. The Nuggets (now 15-7) have been playing great team basketball and are by far getting the best of the Carmelo Anthony trade since last year.
They are led by Italian Danilo Gallinari, averaging 17 pts per game, who they just signed to a big multi-year contract. They have 6 players averaging double figures and 2 others averaging 8 pts per game so they are very well balanced. Gallinari was 5-5 on 3-pt shots and the team overall was 12-21 overall from long range while LA was 8-27. After the very close first half, Denver opened it up and by mid-way of the 4th quarter, they were up by around 30 points. By that time, the Clippers had thrown in the white towel and took out all their key players. The win snapped the Clippers four game winning streak and the blowout helped the Nuggets rest key players in the second half as they play the Lakers back in Denver the next night before traveling to Portland for a 3rd game in 3 nights.
LA will be ok and it was just announced that they signed free agent Kenyon Martin who was playing for a team in China before they ended their contract. That will give the team more depth upfront as they are now deeper and talented at most all positions. They will be a team to watch going into the playoffs and proved they can beat anyone as they took out first place Oklahoma City recently.
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