Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 3/8/13
The Clippers knew it wouldn't be easy early morning arrival in Denver, thin air, back-to-back games, tough road venue. To their credit, they kept it close for most of three quarters Friday night. But the Nuggets were too fast and too efficient at home, ending the Clippers' five-game road winning streak with a 107-92 victory. Beating the Nuggets on their home court has been a near impossibility. Denver has the NBA's best home record (28-3) and has won 12 in a row at the Pepsi Center. Given the fact the Clippers had to fly into town after a game the previous night at Staples Center, this was no easy task. Now throw in the absence of backup guard Jamal Crawford, who tweaked his left ankle Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks and sat out the game, and the Clippers had no real edge. Still, they were tied 49-49 at the half, despite getting just four points from Blake Griffin and two from Chris Paul. But the Nuggets went on a 12-0 run in the third quarter after taking a 67-64 lead, and the Clippers were unable to close much ground after that. "We did a good job in the first half controlling the tempo with our offense, and in the second half we didn't do a good job executing offensively," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We did more scrambling than we needed to. They made some shots. Obviously their penetration hurt, but their three-point shooting was the difference." Three-point defense has been a common theme for the Clippers. The Nuggets made 11 of 23 (48 percent) from long distance and shot 56 percent overall. Ty Lawson was the game's high scorer with 21 points. With Crawford out, Matt Barnes kept the Clippers in the game in the first half. He scored 15 points in 18 minutes, and the Clippers showed an ability to keep pace with Denver. But Barnes had just four points in the second half, and the Clippers eventually faded. Blake Griffin scored 17 points and Chris Paul had 16 and 10 assists, but the Nuggets couldn't seem to miss from anywhere on the floor. "We got Blake going a little bit in the third quarter, then we started turning it over, and they were out on the break hitting threes," Del Negro said. "Then we were chasing them the rest of the game." In Denver, that's not a good thing. Now the Clippers must concern themselves with hanging on to the No. 3 slot in the Western Conference. The Nuggets, currently fifth in the conference standings, are within 2 games behind the Clippers. The Memphis Grizzlies, who were idle, are 1 games behind. The Clippers still hope they can pass Oklahoma City for the No. 2 seed in the conference playoffs, but they'll also have to keep an eye on the teams lurking behind them.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jerry Jones: Manziel could have been Romo’s successor

Broncos DB on Brock Osweiler: ‘None of this is a surprise to us’

Jarius Wright: ‘Everybody’s embracing their role’ on Vikings

Rob Gronkowski seems to agree he's been targeted on P.I. calls

Harbaugh on kick-six: ‘Never seen anything like it in my life’

Report: Josh McCown’s season likely over


Antonio Cromartie: Beckham Jr. still has room to grow

NFL pulls officiating crew from SNF after error-filled game

Jason Garrett: Tony Romo has a lot of football left in him

Jerry West: It’s painful watching Kobe Bryant

Brett Favre compared Browns QB Austin Davis to Tom Brady

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name every NCAA football national champion since 1950

Browns lose to Ravens as only the Browns know how

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Ranking top Heisman Trophy candidates

Have the New Orleans Saints given up?

This weekend in NFL stupid, ft. Rex Ryan

Missouri won’t accept a bowl bid at 5-7

Durant blasts media on behalf of Kobe

Josh McCown laments how he got job back from Manziel

Paul George: Kobe Bryant was my Michael Jordan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker