Having wrapped up December with just the third 16-0 month in NBA history, the Los Angeles Clippers face tough challenges starting the new year.
They'll play four games this week, with two opponents having winning records and the other at .500. The Clippers take their franchise-record 17-game winning streak into Denver on Tuesday night, where the Nuggets are 9-1 at home.
"It'll be a big test for us," forward Blake Griffin said.
Denver (17-15) is the first game of a back-to-back, with a visit to Golden State on Wednesday. The Warriors handed the Clippers their first loss of the season Nov. 3. The Clippers return home Friday to host the Lakers, a team they've already beaten once and who are back to .500. Then comes the second game of another back-to-back against the Warriors.
"We're going to lose at some point, but this is a magical run," said Caron Butler, who had 29 points in a 107-96 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday that maintained the league's best record at 25-6.