NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, March 7th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (44-19) at Denver Nuggets (40-22), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Denver Nuggets' six-game winning streak will be put to the test on Thursday night when the Los Angeles Clippers invade the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets haven't lost since a Feb. 22 setback at Washington. Three of the six victories during this recent run came at home where the Nuggets are awesome. Denver is 26-3 in the Pepsi Center and the three losses is tied for fewest at home in the NBA.
They've won 11 straight at home, with the last loss, ironically enough, coming to those same lowly Wizards back on Jan. 18.
The Nuggets are in a positioning battle in the Western Conference. They trail the Memphis Grizzlies by 1 1/2 for the all-important fourth seed, which gets you home-court advantage, but are only 3 1/2 behind the Clips for third.
"I hate making predictions, but the month of March will tell us if we're in that position (for the third seed)," head coach George Karl said. "Our team has to realize you can't have a flat game and let someone who didn't play well still win a game. I don't think we're going to go (undefeated), but we can't beat ourselves."
On Tuesday, the Nuggets used a 36-29 third-quarter edge to hold off the Sacramento Kings in California's capital.
"I thought the way we started defensively early in the third quarter was the key," Karl said.
Ty Lawson, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, had 24 points, while Danilo Gallinari had 23. Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos and Andre Miller also scored in double figures.
The Clippers head to the Mile High City after a good 117-101 win Wednesday at home over the Milwaukee Bucks. It was the fifth victory in their last six outings with the only loss, the nationally-televised setback on Sunday to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Blake Griffin recorded his third career triple-double on Wednesday with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
"It's exciting. I'm excited, but at the same time without my teammates hitting those shots it doesn't happen," he said.
Griffin leads the team in scoring and rebounding, but took pride in his excellence in that third category.
"Passing the ball matters to me," said Griffin. "Scoring and rebounding, they're kind of staples. And that's part of my game, but being able to pass and get guys open and create offense that way is important to me."
Jamal Crawford had 25 points and Matt Barnes chipped in 20 off the bench. The reserves tallied 56 points for the Clippers on Wednesday. Chris Paul added 14 and DeAndre Jordan netted 10.
The Clippers have won five in a row on the road and six of their last seven.
The two teams have split the two matchups this season with each team prevailing at home. Los Angeles won two in a row in Denver prior to its loss New Year's Day, but before last season's two wins in Denver, the Clippers had lost 10 in a row in the Pepsi Center.
03/07 11:17:50 ET