Nuggets-Clippers Preview

Injuries have hit the Denver Nuggets hard, coinciding with their

recent struggles.

One of their few victories in the rough stretch came against the

Los Angeles Clippers, who also aren’t playing their best basketball

of late.

Short-handed Denver visits Los Angeles on Wednesday night as the

Clippers look to avoid the first three-game skid of the Chris Paul


The Nuggets have been without Danilo Gallinari (left ankle)

since Feb. 8 and Nene (left calf strain) since Feb. 14, while key

reserve Rudy Fernandez missed his second straight game Monday with

a lower back strain.

Making matters worse, Ty Lawson left in the second quarter with

a sprained left ankle and is day to day. Backup point guard Andre

Miller was ejected in the third.

Denver persevered, though, as Al Harrington had a season-high 31

points off the bench and Arron Afflalo scored with 33.7 seconds

remaining in a 103-101 overtime win over Minnesota.

The Nuggets (18-15) had lost 10 of 13.

“We needed this one,” swingman Corey Brewer told the team’s

official website. “After the two tough losses we had, we had to get

this one. We were able to get it. Now we have to build on it.”

Coach George Karl said Nene may be back later in the week, while

he expects Gallinari to return shortly after the All-Star


“Nobody said it was going to be easy,” Harrington told the

team’s official website. “Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us.

Everybody just has to pull their weight a little bit more. When

Andre got kicked out, I just told the guys – especially Arron

– we’ve got to find a way to take over this game.”

Denver did just that after falling behind by 13 points in the

first quarter in the last meeting with the Clippers, charging back

to win 112-91 on Feb. 2.

That ended a three-game losing streak to Los Angeles that

included a 109-105 home loss Jan. 29.

The Clippers (19-11) had won six of eight following the most

recent matchup with the Nuggets, but they’ve lost consecutive games

for only the second time this season after falling 104-97 at Golden

State on Monday.

Paul had a team-high 24 points and six assists while Blake

Griffin finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. Los Angeles

hadn’t lost back-to-back contests since Dec. 28 and 30.

”This one hurt, and it should hurt,” Griffin said. “… “We

can’t coast the whole game and expect to win at the end. We need to

play with a better sense of urgency.”

Griffin went 9 for 12 from the field for 18 points and Paul had

15 points and nine assists in the last meeting with the Nuggets.

Denver got 18 points from Lawson and 15 from Afflalo in that


Paul has averaged 22.8 points and 10.8 assists in his last 13

games against Denver, but Harrington is averaging only 6.0 points

in his last five versus Los Angeles.