Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 2/3/12
Two Clippers fans, a man and a lady were selected to move from their seats in the 300 section at Staples Center down to the floor for the start of the second quarter of the Clippers game against the Nuggets on Thursday night. They weren't sitting in an aisle, section, or row but right in front of the media seating in Section 108. The lady yelled "come on Clippers, let's go!" without question excited to see Clippers All Star starters, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin up close. She cheered on the Clippers throughout the second quarter. The Nuggets kept scoring. They outscored the Clippers 67-35 over the second and third quarters on their way to a 112-91 win. "We jumped out 32-19 (at the end of the first quarter). We just didn't execute, we didn't play well defensively and they made just about every shot that they threw at the rim," said Paul. After scoring 32 points in the opening quarter they had no such luck to finish the half. With 2:34 left in the second quarter, they managed 15 points to that point with little room to spare before halftime. And then Griffin hit back to back baskets and showed what made him an all star starter for the first time in his career by throwing down a left-handed dunk in which Nene got out of the way in favor of not wanting to be Perkins'd. However, that wasn't enough to keep their 13-point lead at the end of the first quarter from turning into a three-point halftime deficit, 54-51. Looking to start the second half with a bang, just 49 seconds into the third quarter, Griffin went up against Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov looking for another highlight, but Mozgov was determined not to get Mozgov'd, fouling Griffin hard and sending him to the floor. He missed both free throws. "It rattled me a little bit but as a team we just kind of went cold there in the third," said Griffin of the Clippers (13-7) who shot just 36 percent in the third quarter. "It was a good foul. It was a hard foul. When I came down I hit my head on something but that was about it," said Griffin. The Nuggets (15-7) were trying to make a statement. "Andre Miller said next time they go in there try to put him on his behind. Not to try to hurt him or anything but a good foul. It was definitely a statement for how we were going to play the rest of the game," said Nuggets forward Al Harrington. The message was delivered. Griffin managed just two points the rest of the way and was one of four Clippers starters that didn't see any action in the fourth quarter. The Clippers' offense sputtered for the remainder of the game. Hoping to give the team a boost, the lady yelled "defense, defense!" from her seat just 10 feet away from the court and the Nuggets continued to generate more offense. The no-named Nuggets, without a superstar, and few options to be selected to the All-Star Game in Orlando later this month, were fresher, having spent Wednesday night in Los Angeles while the Clippers narrowly beat the Jazz 107-105 in Utah and found themselves in their fourth game in five nights on Thursday. "We had a lot of good play tonight. Ty (Lawson) was good early, (Danilo) Gallinari was good, (Timofey) Mozgov was good, we don't do it one way we do many ways. Arron Afflalo's defense on Chris Paul was good and he helped us win the game," said Nuggets head coach George Karl. A huge part of Afflalo's effectiveness defensively was his ability to continuously pick up Paul full court. "They had a really good game plan. We knew they were waiting on us. They picked up full court the entire game, so I think the credit goes to them. They did a good job," said Paul, who finished with 15 points and nine assists. The lady, decked in her red Clippers pullover, even asked her Clippers to "get some energy." They then proceeded to allow Harrington to knock down his second consecutive three pointer from the left corner to give the Nuggets an 86-67 lead at the end of the third quarter. They were his only two makes from beyond the arc in the game as he finished with eight points. The Clippers shot just 38 percent over the second and third quarters, sending the 19,223 that were there for the Clippers 13th sellout of the season home early. They won't see the Clippers for another 11 days as the team takes off for their six-game Grammy road trip beginning in Washington D.C. on Saturday. As for the lady, with 5:40 left in the game, she, now with the pullover tied around her waist, left. There were plenty others that walked out with her.
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