Nuggets vs Clippers – Game Recap – December 26, 2021


LOS ANGELES – – Nikola Jokic had 26 points and 22 rebounds, rallying Denver to Los Angeles Clippers 103-100 on Sunday night after the Nuggets lost a 17-point lead.

The Nuggets led by 19 points against Charlotte in their previous home game and lost. For a while it looked like they were going to give another one, this time on the road.

Luke Kennard almost got there. His 3 points from the right corner with 19 seconds remaining took the Clippers to 101-100.

Jokic was trying to catch a pass in bounds when he was fouled by Eric Bledsoe, sending them both crashing into the Clippers bench. Jokic made the two free throws to increase the Nuggets’ lead to three.

Brandon Boston Jr. took the Clippers’ final blow, but his potential 3-point equalizer was out of place on the buzzer.

Boston and Bledsoe led the Clippers with 18 points each. Bledsoe had 10 assists. Ivica Zubac had 17 points and 11 rebounds.

The Clippers were playing without Paul George, who is out for up to a month with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. They lost for the fourth time in five games.

After scoring just five points in the third, Jokic scored nine in the fourth in addition to taking seven rebounds.

Will Barton added 17 points for Denver, which broke a two-game skid.

Jokic helped the Nuggets tie the game at 93 for the fourth. He fed Barton for the tied jumper after scoring on a hook and hitting a pair of free throws. Jokic’s 3-point gave Denver their first lead in the fourth, 96-94.

The Clippers erased a 17-point deficit in the third. They were outdone 10-2 to open the quarter, then closed on a 26-5 streak to lead 83-79 before the fourth.

Four reserves helped score the push, with Boston and Serge Ibaka scoring 3 points and Amir Coffey scoring from a drive. Bledsoe added seven points.

Monte Morris scored all five points for Denver. The Clippers’ defense pushed Jokic back around the edge which led to some transition baskets for them on the offensive side.

A total of four players were absent due to health and safety protocols, including Clippers starter Reggie Jackson. His departing colleague Marcus Morris quit pre-match protocols but remains out while he reconditions. Michael Porter Jr. and Bol Bol of Denver were in the protocols.


Nuggets: Jokic finished with eight rebounds. … They came back to .500 at 16-16. … They traveled without six players.

Clippers: George complained of elbow pain after Wednesday’s victory in Sacramento and had an MRI, which revealed the ligament tear. … Great substitute Isaiah Hartenstein missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. … Signed Xavier Moon for a 10-day contract as part of the league’s COVID hardship allowance.


Nuggets: At Golden State Tuesday.

Clippers: Host Brooklyn Monday to complete a back-to-back.


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