The Los Angeles Clippers navigated their way unscathed through the rough waters of the Western Conference with three wins earlier in the week against playoff-bound teams. But a fourth game in five nights proved too much, as the Clippers were run out of Staples Center 112-91 by the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Thursday's game began well for the Clippers, who led 32-19 after the first quarter, looking like a team headed for a fifth straight victory. But the Nuggets had other ideas, outscoring the Clippers 67-35 in the second and third quarters to take control of the game. Denver led by as many as 27 points in the fourth quarter.
Danilo Gallinari scored 21 points to lead the Nuggets (15-7), who snapped a two-game losing streak. Denver shot 53.4% from the field on the night and hit 12 of 21 (57.1%) from three-point range.
Blake Griffin had 18 points and five rebounds for the Clippers (13-7), who fell to 10-3 at home this season. Chris Paul added 15 points and nine assists.
The Clippers won't see Staples Center for another 13 days as they head out on their Grammy road trip, which begins Saturday night in D.C. against the Washington Wizards.
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