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Clippers and Nuggets square off in Denver

A pair of Western Conference contenders meet in the Rockies Sunday when the Denver Nuggets entertain the Los Angeles Clippers at Pepsi Center.

The surprising Nuggets sport the second best record in the West and come into tonight's contest on a six-game run. Most recently, Rudy Fernandez poured in 23 points on Friday to lead four teammates in double-figures as Denver topped the Toronto Raptors, 96-81.

Danilo Gallinari, fresh off signing a four-year, $42 million dollar extension earlier in the week, dropped in 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while Nene finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who improved to 7-2 at Pepsi Center. Andre Miller added 13 points and matched a season-high with 12 assists to go with six rebounds.

"I'm feeling good," Fernandez said. "I needed this game for my confidence. I'm very happy about the game."

The Nuggets earned their latest win without starting point guard Ty Lawson, who sat out with a sprained ankle. The North Carolina product has been listed as questionable for tonight's game but is expected to play.

The Clippers, meanwhile, lead the Pacific Division by one game over the Lakers and have alternated wins and losses over their past seven encounters. Most recently, Blake Griffin finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, leading the Clips to a 98-91 victory over the Grizzlies at Staples Center on Thursday.

Chris Paul and Mo Williams each scored 18 points, while Caron Butler netted 16 to help Los Angeles rebounded from a loss to the rival Lakers on Wednesday. Paul also had seven rebounds and seven assists.

Tonight's contest will also mark the return of guard Chauncey Billups to Denver. The veteran spent three full seasons and parts of two others over two stints with his hometown team and was traded to New York in the Carmelo Anthony deal last season before signing with the Clips this offseason.

"Chauncey was huge because I was a young point guard coming into the game," Lawson told the Nuggets' website. "He's been everywhere I want to be. He's been an All-Star, he won a championship. I learned everything from him. He was very important to my development. It's going to fun playing against him."

The Clips, who are just 1-4 on the road this season, have won two straight over Denver after dropping the previous four in the series.