Los Angeles, CA – Jamal Crawford poured in 22 points off the bench, as the Los Angeles Clippers extended their franchise-record winning streak to 14 games on Tuesday with a 112-100 triumph over the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center.
Matt Barnes also came off the bench and added 20 points, while Chris Paul finished with 14 points, eight assists and three steals for the Clippers, who own the best record in the NBA at 22-6.
"It's nice, but it's Christmas and we've got a long way to go," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said of his team owning the league's best record. "A lot of games to play and a lot of improving to do."
Kosta Koufos paced the Nuggets with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Ty Lawson chipped in 15 points and five assists in the setback, Denver's second in its last three games.
The Clippers trailed by one, 26-25, after 12 minutes, but the home team outscored the visitors by 20 in the second quarter to build a comfortable lead at the break.
A Barnes 3-pointer sparked a 12-3 Clippers spurt early in the frame to put Los Angeles in front, 39-32, just over three minutes into the second.
A pair of free throws from Danilo Gallinari brought the Nuggets back within seven with just under four minutes left in the half, but the Clippers countered with the next nine points, capped by Barnes' 3-pointer to make it a 58-42 margin with 1:52 left until halftime.
DeAndre Jordan put an exclamation point on the stanza in the closing seconds, as he finished an alley-oop slam off a great feed from Crawford to send the Clippers into the locker room holding a 67-48 advantage.
"I thought we had a really good game going until the second quarter," Denver coach George Karl admitted. "They created a lot of their offense off our bad offense. They have a confidence right now that is pretty powerful."
Denver pulled within 10, 75-65, after a JaVale McGee hook shot with 6:42 left in the third, but Willie Green buried back-to-back 3-pointers to press the lead back up to 16 with under five minutes left in the third.
The visitors trimmed the deficit to 10 again following an Andre Miller layup with 1:17 left before the Clippers closed the quarter on a 9-2 swing to build a 93-76 advantage heading into the final frame.
Denver never threatened in the fourth, as the Clippers led by double digits throughout the stanza to secure the victory.
"It's a total team effort," Crawford remarked. "We understand our roles. We're locked in right now. Whenever we get defensive stops, we get out and run."
The Clippers have won six of the last seven matchups against Denver ... Every Los Angeles player who appeared in the game registered at least two points ... LA shot 44 percent (11-for-25) from three-point range and held the Nuggets to 23.1 percent (3-for-13) from distance.