Denver, CO – The Los Angeles Clippers came into the New Year having won all 16 games in December and 17 straight overall. The change of the calendar saw the Denver Nuggets end that run.
Danilo Gallinari scored 17 points and added six rebounds to give the Nuggets a 92-78 win over the Clippers on Tuesday.
Just the third team ever to finish a whole month 16-0, the Clippers hadn't lost a game since a defeat at home against New Orleans on Nov. 26, but their franchise-record winning streak came to an end as the team never led after the first quarter.
Kenneth Faried gave 14 points and 11 rebounds while Andre Miller added 12 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who have won three of their last four games.
Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe each had 12 points for the Clippers, who shot just 38.5 percent in the contest.
"There were many games in the streak that we could have lost. Tonight was one of those nights where we just never got back in it," Clippers guard Chris Paul said. "We didn't hit that shot to get over the hump."
Neither team led by more than four points in the first quarter and the Nuggets took a 21-19 lead into the second, scoring the first seven points of that frame to create some space.
Denver's lead hovered around double-digits for much of the second quarter, but Jamal Crawford scored the final four points of the half to cut LA's deficit to 48-43 at the break.
Pulling to within one point, 50-49, after DeAndre Jordan put in a shot for the Clippers, Denver answered with the next seven points as Gallinari's 3-ball with 7 1/2 minutes to play made it a 57-49 game.
The Nuggets closed the third on a 10-1 run and JaVale McGee's 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the team a 75-59 lead heading to the fourth.
Los Angeles was never able to get closer than 13 points in the final frame as Denver held the team at arm's length the rest of the way.
"As the game went on, we did a better job of getting our guards back and rebounding the ball. I thought that was the reason we controlled the game in the second half. It was our rebounding," Nuggets coach George Karl said.
Los Angeles had won six of seven against Denver, including three straight, coming into the game ... The Clippers play at Golden State on Wednesday ... Denver hosts Minnesota on Thursday ... McGee posted 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench.