How about those Denver Nuggets? In a gutsy show of excellence on both ends of the court, the Nuggets were able to get back at the LA Clippers and tie the series up at 1-1.
Can the Nuggets keep it up? Catch Game 3 of this series live this Tuesday at 9 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: #3 Denver Nuggets (1-1)
Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic proved in the Nuggets’ 110-101 win in Game 2 that they have the firepower to bend and break the Clippers’ defense. Murray bounced back from a lethargic showing in the series opener and scored 27 points on 10-for-21 shooting.
Murray’s confidence in himself is oozing right now, thanks in large part to the success he had in the previous round. As for Jokic, the Serbian big man had 26 points and 18 rebounds. He shot the ball well from downtown, as he finished 4 for 5 on his 3-point tries.
But what really keyed in the win for the Nuggets was the step-up performances they got from Jerami Grant and Gary Harris.
The two provided the much-needed defensive gears for the Nuggets. The Nuggets limited the Clippers to only 40.9 FG% and 28.1 3FG%. Harris even added 13 points with four threes. If Harris keeps up that kind of offense, the Nuggets are going to be just as hard to deal with for the Clippers, who have to spend so much defensive effort on Murray and Jokic.
ROAD TEAM: #2 LA Clippers (1-1)
You could say that the Clippers got ambushed in Game 2, as they probably had no idea that the Nuggets would be that hot on offense from right from the start.
Clippers fans likely also didn’t expect that Leonard was going to lay a big fat egg in the fourth quarter, where the superstar scored zero points. Leonard still managed to get 10 rebounds and eight assists, but it’s his scoring that the Clippers missed the most, especially in the most important moments of the game.
If anything, it’s hard to imagine Leonard to have such a bad game for the second time in a row, so expect him to claw his way back into relevancy in Game 3. Thus far in the postseason, Leonard is averaging 29.9 points on 52.8 FG%.
Paul George, meanwhile, had 22 points and eight rebounds in Game 2. It’s a nice overall performance for him to build on heading into the third game of the series.
The Clippers have not lost back-to-back games since February.
The Clippers recover by crippling Denver’s offense with some lockdown defense from George and Leonard. LA wins, 114-107.