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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 21st (All times Eastern)
Denver Nuggets (14-11) at Los Angeles Clippers (18-9), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers are perfect so far on their four-game homestand, which concludes Saturday versus the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center.
After going 4-3 on a 13-day, seven-game odyssey, the Clippers returned home and defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 115-92. They followed that victory with Wednesday's 108-95 triumph over the New Orleans Pelicans, as Blake Griffin led seven players in double figures with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Jared Dudley hit 4-of-6 3-pointers en route to 20 points, Jamal Crawford scored 17 points and Darren Collison netted 14 points. DeAndre Jordan also had 14 points, but pulled down 20 rebounds and blocked five shots for the Clippers, who received 12 points and 11 assists from Chris Paul. Paul, who is tops in the NBA with 11.3 assists per game, had scored 20-plus points in his previous five games.
"We played pretty flat but DeAndre Jordan just single-handedly kept us in with his defense, his rebounding and everything else," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said.
Willie Green rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points off the bench.
Los Angeles, which is averaging 104.3 ppg, leads the Pacific Division and will wrap up the stay Sunday versus Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Clips are 10-2 as the host.
Denver has lost two straight and three of four.
On Friday, the Nuggets fell at home to the Phoenix Suns, 103-99. Denver led by as many as 21 in the first half and took a 10-point lead into the final quarter, but dropped that period, 31-17.
"It's tough to swallow," Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw said of his team blowing a 21-point lead. "We shot ourselves in the foot."
Wilson Chandler led the Nuggets with 15 points, followed by 14 from Randy Foye. Ty Lawson and J.J. Hickson both finished with 13 points and Hickson added 14 rebounds.
Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur chipped in 10 points apiece.
The Nuggets will get Jordan Hamilton back on Saturday. He was suspended one game for punching Oklahoma City's Steven Adams in the shoulder on Tuesday night.
The Nuggets and Clippers will play the first of four matchups between the teams, while Denver took two of the three encounters a season ago. The Clippers have won six of the last nine overall meetings and five of six as the host in this series.
12/21 11:08:56 ET
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