The LA Clippers jumped to the 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semis, after beating the Denver Nuggets tonight, 96-85.
Doc Rivers’ boys were didn’t allow the rivals to have one lead during the entire match, starting and finishing strong, with only one sequence in which Denver looked good on the floor. The Clips now have three match points and are very close to their first-ever conference finals.
The key to the entire match was the first period, in which the Clippers heavily outplayed the Nuggets. The No.2 seed in the West limited its opponents to just 12 points, scoring 26, setting the tone of the game, which would be present during the entire clash.
Denver bounced back at the end of the second and the start of the third, dropping 12 unanswered buckets, to tie the game at 48-all. However, the team from LA responded immediately with a 19-5 run to regain its lead and routinely close this game.
Kawhi Leonard was one assist shy of his first playoff triple-double. The Claw scored 30 points, had 11 boards and nine assists, with four steals and two blocks. Two-time NBA Finals MVP had a very productive game in all the areas and was the pivotal figure on the floor.
Montrezl Harrell scored 15 points, off the bench, while Lou Williams added 12. Marcus Morris and Ivica Zubac added 11 each, with Zu grabbing nine boards, and Paul George had just 10 buckets.
On the other side, Jokic posted 26 points, 11 boards and six dimes, proving that apar from him the Nuggets don’t have a player worthy of standing up to the Clippers. Jamal Murray was once again pale, delivering just 18 points in 44 minutes, with seven assists and four turnovers.
Michael Porter Jr. played another solid game off the bench, with 15 points and six boards, while Gary Harris scored 10.
Doc Rivers doesn’t give a hoot that the Clippers are a win away from reaching the conference finals for the first time in franchise history.
(Vid: @kylegoon) pic.twitter.com/OWliMbTbrO
— Mirjam Swanson (@MirjamSwanson) September 10, 2020
The Nuggets made just 27 field goals throughout the entire game, with Jokic having 11 of them. Overall, both sides had low percentages from the field, Clippers 41.8%, and the Nuggets 39.7%. However, what created some difference, were the turnovers, with Denver having 17, and Clippers just 11.
Michael Malone’s team was already in the same situation in the previous round, once they fell 1-3 behind against the Utah Jazz. They would claw their way back out of that situation, but it seems that the prospects of doing the same now are pretty slim.
Game 5 is this Friday.