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It’s a battle of Western Conference teams up in the Mile High City on the parquet floor. The LA Clippers make the trip to the Rocky Mountains as they face the Denver Nuggets Thursday night. LA comes in off a 128-109 home win over the Hornets Tuesday night. Denver capped a back to back set on the road with a 103-99 win in South Beach over the Heat Tuesday night. The Nuggets lead the all-time regular-season series between the teams 94-79 but the clubs split two matchups this season. In the last meeting, it was the Clippers taking a 132-111 win at home on December 22, 2018.
LA Clippers Seek Fourth Straight Win
LA won their third straight game as they downed the Hornets for the ninth straight time at the Staples Center. The Clippers entered Wednesday fourth in the Western Conference: they trailed the Nuggets by 3.5 games for the top spot and the Warriors by 2.5 games for the Pacific Division lead. LA took a nine-point edge after the opening quarter and led the rest of the way. The Clippers saw the Hornets get within two on a couple occasions early in the third quarter before regrouping to pull away. LA shot 51.6 percent from the field, including 14 of 30 from three point land, while holding Charlotte to 40 percent shooting. Lou Williams led the Clippers with 27 points and 10 assists in the win. LA is 11-9 ATS on the road this season while the over is 10-9-1 in those contests.
The Clippers are currently 4th in the league in scoring offense with 116 points per game. LA is 12th in the league in rebounding with 45.8 boards per game and stand 22nd in assists with 22.8 per contest. The Clippers are below average defensively, ranking 24th in scoring defense by allowing 114.1 points per game. Tobias Harris is leading LA with 21.1 points plus eight boards a game this season. Danilo Gallinari (19.5 points, 6.2 rebounds), Lou Williams (18.5 points) and Montrezl Harrell (15.7 points, 6.7 boards) all average in double figures. Boban Marjanovic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (10.1 points), Marcin Gortat, Patrick Beverley, Avery Bradley, Luc Mbah a Moute and Mike Scott are all key pieces of the Clippers’ rotation for Doc Rivers. Mbah a Moute has been out with a knee injury and he is out until early January. LA is tied for 6th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 47.5 percent from the floor. The Clippers are 26th in three pointers a game with 9.5 per contest and 3rd in three point shooting as they hit 38.5 percent of their long range attempts.
Denver Nuggets Look to Continue Holding Top Spot in West
Denver bounced back from a loss to Houston Monday night by taking a win on the road in Miami Tuesday night to close a back to back set. The Nuggets entered Wednesday leading the Western Conference by a game over Golden State and the Northwest Division by 2.5 games over Oklahoma City. Denver led by six after one quarter, trailed by three at the half, was tied after three quarters and remained tied in the final seconds. Nikola Jokic had the go-ahead bucket with 2.4 seconds to play as the Nuggets went on to win. Denver shot 47.1 percent from the field, including nine of 27 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 50-38. Jokic led the Nuggets with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the win. Denver is 13-6 ATS at home this season while the under is 10-9 in those games.
The Nuggets are 18th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 110.5 points per game. Denver is currently 6th in the league in rebounding with 47.1 rebounds per contest. The Nuggets are 2nd in the league by dishing out 27.3 assists per game. Denver is 4th in scoring defense as they allow 105.5 points per contest. Paul Millsap puts up 13.2 points plus 6.7 rebounds a game in his second season with Denver. Will Barton contributes 16.5 points a night while Nikola Jokic kicks in a team-high 19.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 7.5 assists a game. Gary Harris (16 points) and Jamal Murray (18.4 points) each are solid contributors offensively as well. Mason Plumlee, Monte Morris (9.9 points), Malik Beasley, Torrey Craig, Juancho Hernangomez (9.3 points) and Trey Lyles have to step up when called upon. The Nuggets are 11th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 46.4 percent from the field. Denver is tied for 17th in the league by sinking 10.8 threes per game and is 16th in the league in three point shooting by sinking 35 percent from beyond the arc. Barton is out until mid-January after having surgery for a right hip injury and a core strain. In addition, Isaiah Thomas is out until mid-January as he recovers from hip surgery.
- Nuggets are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games
- Nuggets are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games following an ATS win
- Clippers are 6-13 ATS in their last 19 vs. Northwest Division opponents
- Clippers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Thursday game