The Los Angeles Clippers entered Thursday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets hoping to snap a losing streak. It didn’t happen. And it did not take long for it to become abundantly clear that the losing streak would be extended.
Denver dominated the game from the outset, winning 122-91. And even that might make the game look closer than it actually was. Nikola Jokić broke a scoreless tie 25 seconds into the game, giving the Nuggets a lead they would never relinquish. Denver led 6-0 before the Clippers got on the board. The Nuggets then led 32-15 after one quarter, 66-32 at halftime and 102-59 at after three quarters.
At times, Denver’s offense was so efficient that the defense of Los Angeles resembled something you’d see in an All-Star Game.
Jamal Murray is on fire in Q1 ‼️
He has all of the Nuggets last 13 points on TNT. pic.twitter.com/1nDk2VXjvh
— NBA (@NBA) January 6, 2023
This ball movement >>> pic.twitter.com/enOjWi9eWC
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 6, 2023
Of course, there are two sides to every blowout. The winning team always deserves ample credit for its performance. That’s the case here. The Nuggets scored 122 points against the Clippers without a single player scoring 20 points. Jamal Murray led the way with 18. Bones Hyland (16), Vlatko Cančar (15), Zeke Nnaji (13), Aaron Gordon (13), Jokić (12) and Michael Porter Jr. (10) all had double-digit point totals. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown both just missed, scoring nine.
But while it was definitely a great team effort from the Nuggets, the Clippers didn’t exactly make things tough on them. That was something that many in the NBA world noted after the game.
“Clippers have way too much talent to hit these long offensive lulls the way they do,” Keith Smith of Spotrac said.
“The Nuggets came to play tonight. The Clippers came to collect their game check,” DNVR Sports’ Harrison Wind tweeted.
On January 2, podcaster Isaac K. Lee tweeted that “sports is a great metaphor for life because it is painful and nothing good ever happens to you.” On Thursday, he quote tweeted that, with the message “a solemn reminder for my fellow Clippers fans.”
Clippers have way too much talent to hit these long offensive lulls the way they do.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 6, 2023
The Nuggets came to play tonight. The Clippers came to collect their game check.
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) January 6, 2023
a solemn reminder for my fellow Clippers fans https://t.co/zv0E6ZoQZE
— Isaac K. Lee (@IsaacKLee) January 6, 2023
Another Clippers fan said it was as bad as the team had looked since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joined forces. He said “This is probably the worst Clippers performance since we signed Kawhi & PG. Incredibly pathetic on both ends.”
One other observer was simply calling for relegation, saying “Plz send the Clippers to The Big 3.”
This is probably the worst Clippers performance since we signed Kawhi & PG. Incredibly pathetic on both ends
— ZubacSZN (@213clipset) January 6, 2023
Plz send the Clippers to The Big 3.
— Ahmed/The Ears/Nets Fan 🇸🇴 (@big_business_) January 6, 2023
The Clippers were led in scoring by Normal Powell, who had 13. Leonard and George combined for only nine points, with Leonard scoring six and George scoring three.
Denver is one of the NBA’s best teams and it’s a tough place to play. So, losing emphatically to them isn’t the end of the world for Los Angeles. But it certainly wasn’t the effort that anyone with Clippers wanted to see. Los Angeles won’t have much time to lick its wounds. The Clippers will be on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.