Nuggets snap Clippers’ 11-game win streak
DENVER (AP) — Reserve J.J. Hickson had 21 points and Ty Lawson scored eight of his 19 in a late fourth-quarter run, helping the Denver Nuggets end the Los Angeles Clippers’ 11-game winning streak with a 110-100 victory Monday night.
The Clippers’ streak was tied for second-longest in franchise history. Their longest, 17 in a row last season, also was snapped by Denver at Pepsi Center.
Kenneth Faried added 18 points and 16 rebounds in a duel in the paint against Blake Griffin, who finished with 26 points and 12 boards.
Down 98-96 with 4:21 remaining, Lawson hit a 3-point to give the Nuggets a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. It was part of a 14-2 run to close out the game. The Clippers didn’t score again after DeAndre Jordan’s dunk at 3:31.
— Los Angeles Clippers (@LAClippers) March 18, 2014
The Clippers had plenty of chances to get back into the contest, but Randy Foye foiled any rally bid — hitting a big 3-pointer and later blocking Reggie Bullock’s shot on a drive.
Still, it was quite a St. Patrick’s Day for Griffin. He began the day by being named the league’s player of the week for a third time this season. Then, he went out and scored at least 20 points in a career-best 27th straight game.
Chris Paul finished 29 points. He also had seven assists, giving him 5,996 or his career. He’s trying to join Magic Johnson, John Stockton and Isiah Thomas as the only NBA players to go over the 6,000-assist plateau before their 29th birthday. Paul turns 29 in May.
The Clippers played the night before, beating Cleveland 102-80, and seemed to fade late in the fourth quarter.
Los Angeles was without Darren Collison, who didn’t make the trip because of a stomach virus. The team already was missing J.J. Redick (bulging disk), Jamal Crawford (strained left calf).
Denver turned in a five-point possession moments after losing the lead early in the third quarter. Lawson hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired and was fouled by Paul, who was incensed over the play and given a technical. Foye made the technical foul and Lawson hit his free throw to make it a 65-63 game.
Griffin tumbled all over the court in the first half, dragging down Faried on one sequence — Faried was called for a foul — and ran into a cameraman at halfcourt trying to track down a loose ball.
Paul was a bit dinged up as he landed awkwardly on his left leg after a shot in the second quarter, and later was hit in the face by Wilson Chandler’s leg when Chandler tried to leap over the Clippers point guard. Paul stood his ground and drew the charge.
Denver led 56-53 at halftime despite Paul going for 20 and Griffin adding 16.
The Nuggets wore replica uniforms of the 1993-94 team to honor the squad that knocked off top-seeded Seattle in the postseason. Several of the players and coaches from that team showed up for the celebration, including Dikembe Mutombo and LaPhonso Ellis.
Ellis and several of his former teammates had dinner the night before with current players to chat about the glory days, when the Nuggets erased a 2-0 deficit to beat the Sonics — then coached by George Karl — in a decisive fifth game.
"Fascinating to hear all the stories and add some little details to maybe some unfinished stories," Ellis said. "We feel very overwhelmed, flattered and honored that (the Nuggets) would extend to us an unbelievable gesture."
NOTES: The Clippers were outscored in second chance points, 23-19. … Nuggets Fs Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur were both called for technical fouls in the first half. … Dan Issel, the head coach of the 93-94 team, brought out the game ball before tip.