5/2/21 LOS ANGELES, CA - The Denver Nuggets, with a record of (42-21) had to take on the Los Angeles Clippers (43-21) at the Staple Center, and when the dust had settled and the outcome, Clippers loss 110-104. This would also be the return of Kawhi Leonard back playing at the home being out for six games with a foot injury.
The Clippers jumped out on the Nuggets 6-0 after a three-pointer by Marcus Morris Sr. and Kawhi Lenard's jump shot in the first quarter. That lead increased to 13-5 after a basket by Ivica Zuback, a jump shot by Morris Sr., and a three-pointer by Leonard.
The Nuggets trail 13-7 after a basket by PJ Dozier. Michael Porter Jr. three-point shot had Denver down by six points, 18-12 with 5:00 left in the quarter. The Clippers led 21-17 after a three-pointer by Paul George.
The Clippers led 26-24 when Porter made one a free throw with 2:10 left in the quarter. The Nuggets trail the Clippers 28-27 at the end of the first quarter after JaMychal Green's three-point shot.
Leonard scored the first basket for the Clippers in the second quarter that made the score 30-28. The Nuggets got their first lead of the game 32-30, after another three-pointer by Green.
The Nuggets led the Clippers by five points 41-36 with a basket by Paul Millsap with 7:41 left in the first half. Rajon Rondo's back-to-back baskets had the Clippers down by three points 44-41, with3:35 left in the first half.
Nikola Jokic's dunk shot gave the Nuggets a 48-44 lead over the Clippers. The Nuggets led the Clippers at halftime by five points 52-47 after Paul George made one free throw.
George led the Clippers in scoring in the first half with 11-points, Leonard and Rondo both with 9-points, and Reggie Jackson with 7-points. Porter Jr. led the Nuggets in scoring with 10-points, Dozier, Green, and Jokic, all with 9-points, and Millsap with 8-points.
In the third quarter, the Clippers trail the Nuggets by two points, 56-54, after Leonard made a step-back jump shot. Reggie Jackson's three-point shot gave the Clippers their first lead of the quarter 57-56.
Denver now led the Clippers 63-57 after a three-pointer by Jokic with 7:43 left in the quarter. Porter Jr.'s dunk gave the Nuggets a 70-63 lead.
DeMarcus Cousin's layup made the score 77-68 with 2:04 left in the quarter. Denver led the Clippers by ten points at the end of the quarter 83-73.
Terance Mann made a three-point shot in the fourth quarter that had the Clippers trailing 85-76. Rondo made a jump shot that made the score 87-81. Porter Jr.'s three-pointer put Denver back up by ten points, 95-85.
The Clippers still trail the Nuggets 99-91 after a jump shot by Leonard. Cousin made a three-pointer that had the Clippers down 101-96 with 2:47 left in the game. Jackson made a three-point shot that made the score 107-101 in favor of the Nuggets.
Denver closed out the fourth quarter with a 110-104 victory that put them in third place in the Western Conference, one game in front of the fourth-place Clippers. Clippers head coach Tyronne Lue after the game talked about how Rondo played and having Leonard.
"[Rajon] Rondo was good. Just pushing the pace, I think knocking down some shots, getting to the basket, and just playing with pace. Pushing the basketball. I thought he did a good job and the more and more he gets acclimated to what we're trying to do, the better off it's going to be for us."
"Yeah, I don't know if it was fatigue or what. I just thought he really eased into it. He didn't play at his normal pace of attacking, getting to the basket-like he usually does. So, having played in a lot of team games, that's to be expected. It's just good having him back on the floor and we just need to build from there."
The Clippers' next game will be on Tuesday at the Staple Center against the Toronto Raptors (26-38), and on Thursday they played their rivals the Los Angeles Lakers. #nba #kawhileonard #laclippers #nuggets #denvernuggets #losangelesclippers #westernconference #tgsportstv1 #nationalbasketballleague