Clippers host Nuggets at Staples Center
The Los Angeles Clippers aim to halt a two-game skid and Star break atop the Pacific Division when they host the Denver Nuggets tonight.
The Clips lead their Staples Center co-tenants, the Lakers, by just one game in the division after dropping their second in a row at Golden State on Monday, 104-97.
Monta Ellis scored 32 points in that one as the Warriors finished with the final nine points in the game to steal the win.
Chris Paul scored 24 points for the Clippers, but none in the fourth quarter. He missed a jumper early in Golden State's run and had another shot from the foul line blocked by Dominic McGuire. Blake Griffin finished with 21 points and nine boards.
"We have to put teams away...play with a sense of urgency," Griffin said. "We can't coast the whole game and expect to win at the end."
The Clippers, who were coming off an overtime loss to the Spurs on Saturday, dropped back-to-back games for the first time since Dec.28 and 30 -- their second and third games of the season.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, won for just the third time in 13 games on Monday when Arron Afflalo drained the go-ahead shot with 33.7 seconds remaining in overtime as Denver outlasted the Minnesota Timberwolves, 103-101, at Pepsi Center.
Afflalo had 20 points overall and Al Harrington paced all scorers with a season-high 31 off the bench. Rookie Kenneth Faried contributed a double- double with 10 points to go with 14 rebounds for the short-handed Nuggets, who snapped a three-game skid.
"We were able to find a way to get it done. I'm just proud of everybody," Harrington said.
Denver, of course, has been without leading scorer Danilo Gallinari (left ankle) since Feb. 8 and big man Nene (left calf strain) since Feb. 14. Meanwhile, swingman Rudy Fernandez missed his second straight game against the Wolves with a lower back strain and starting point guard Ty Lawson left in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle. Both Lawson and Fernandez are listed as day-to-day.
The Nuggets snapped a three-game skid against the Clippers with a 112-91 win in Staples Center back on Feb. 2.