Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/1/13
DENVER -- Danilo Gallinari scored 17 points, Andre Miller had 12 points and 12 assists in his first start of the season, and the Denver Nuggets ended the Los Angeles Clippers' 17-game winning streak with a 92-78 win Tuesday night. Blake Griffin scored 12 points, and DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who lost for the first time since falling at home to the New Orleans Hornets on Nov. 26. Los Angeles was mostly dominant during the longest winning streak in the league this season. Only three times did the Clippers win games by five points or fewer, and they beat the Nuggets by 12 at the Staples Center on Christmas Day. It was a different story on New Year's Day. Denver, missing point guard Ty Lawson due to a strained left Achilles tendon, had six players in double figures and was in front most of the game. The Nuggets led by as many as 12 points in the first half before the Clippers cut it to 48-43 with a run late in the second quarter. Los Angeles got within one on a putback by Jordan early in the third and had a chance to take the lead after a Denver turnover but couldn't convert. That's when the Nuggets took charge. Five straight misses by the Clippers and a fadeaway by Miller made it an eight-point lead before rookie Evan Fournier hit a 3-pointer to give Denver a 12-point edge again. The Nuggets then closed the third quarter with a flourish. JaVale McGee finished an alley-oop dunk from Miller -- one of five by Denver -- and then hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, his first of the year, to give the Nuggets a 75-59 lead heading into the fourth. The Clippers got within 13 early in the fourth, but Denver never let them get close in the final 12 minutes. The visitors hurt themselves with poor shooting from 3-point range -- finishing 5-for-29 -- and from the foul line, where they were 13-for-29. Kenneth Faried finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for Denver, which has won eight straight at home. NOTES: Lawson has been bothered by the Achilles for about a week but hadn't missed a game this season until Tuesday. ... Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro played on the 1995-96 San Antonio Spurs team that won 17 straight before losing. He downplayed the comparison to the team he is in charge of now. "I think we won 24 of 25," he said. "That was then, this is now. Different team, different time. The streak is great, we want to keep winning basketball games, but we have to find ways to get better and stay consistent." He also dismissed the notion that the streak has put a target on his Clippers. "We don't really focus on that," he said. "We're focusing in on executing the game plan and if we do the things that we're capable of doing then the streak will take care of itself." ... Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler, who has been limited to four games while recovering from offseason hip surgery, hopes to return to the lineup soon. He began practicing last week and is targeting a return Jan. 13 against Golden State.
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