Game 4 was far from a thing of beauty unless you are a Clippers fan. Los Angeles held Denver to just 12 points in the first quarter and the defense never let up on their way to a 96-85 victory as a nine-point favorite. The Clippers now lead the series 3-1, meaning that the Nuggets season will be on the line Friday night.
The Clippers have been favored in all four games so far of this series and both teams have covered the spread twice. The total has gone under in three of the games.
Nuggets never recover from slow startThe Denver Nuggets played a solid game defensive game on Wednesday, but it could not match the troubles that the Clippers defense gave them on the offensive end. Coming out sluggish, the Nuggets fell behind 26-12 after the first quarter, and could never get close enough to seriously threaten. Nikola Jokic finished with 26 points on 11 of 23 shooting from the floor and 11 rebounds, followed by Jamal Murray who had 18 points, and Michael Porter Jr. who added 14 points off the bench.
Offense struggled to find a rhythm tonight.https://t.co/75JLnvUY0L— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) September 10, 2020
Throughout their 11 playoff games, Denver as a team is averaging 106.3 points per game while shooting 45.6% from the field and 38.6% on three-point shots. Defensively the Nuggets have now allowed 111.3 points per game in the postseason.
The Nuggets came back for a 3-1 series deficit in the first round to the Utah Jazz and will need a better effort on Friday if they want history to repeat itself.
Leonard, defense lead the wayThe Clippers set the tone defensively on Wednesday, holding the Nuggets to just 39.7% shooting from the field and 33.3% shooting from three-point range. The Clippers also forced 14 turnovers while only committing nine themselves.
The strong defensive performance was much needed, as the Clippers did not have a great shooting game themselves Los Angeles made 41.8% shots from the field, 28.6% from three-point range, and 22 of 30 (73.3%) from the line.
Kawhi Leonard put together another beautiful offensive performance in an ugly game, leading the Clippers with his first triple-double of the playoffs finishing with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. Montrezl Harrell made a significant impact off the bench adding 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting in 18 minutes. Ivica Zubac added 11 points and nine rebounds, followed by Marcus Morris Jr. with 11 points, Paul George with 10 points.
Overall in the playoffs, the Clippers are averaging an NBA playoff-best 119 ppg, shooting 49.5% from the field, and 37.8% on threes. Defensively, the Clippers are allowing 110.1 points per contest through 10 playoff games.