For the second straight series, the Denver Nuggets have forced a Game 7 after trailing 3-1. It’s been quite the show, both from Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, and their team has proven the strength of their sheer will time and again.
Let’s not forget who’s on the other side, though. The LA Clippers still have that cyborg-like superstar, Kawhi Leonard, as well as Paul George and an unpredictable supporting cast.
Catch Game 7 on Wednesday, September 16 at 9:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: #2 LA Clippers (3-3)
The Clippers are suddenly and inexplicably faltering in crucial stages. They have now blown 16 and 19-point, second half-leads in back-to-back closeout games. In Game 5, they shot 7-for-25 in the fourth quarter, while in Game 6, they shot 10-for-38 in the second half.
The two All-Stars are included in that late-game slump: Kawhi only went 3-for-11 in the second half of Game 6, while PG is a combined 5-for-16 from the floor in the last two fourth quarters.
The next two scorers are in the same boat – and actually much worse. This year’s Sixth Man of the Year winner, Montrezl Harrell, only has 11 points in his last two games, and Lou Williams is putting up just 10.5 PPG on 36.8% shooting in the series.
Expect Kawhi (26 PPG) and PG (23.7 PPG) to be better tomorrow. We should see them be try to score fast early as they’ll avoid going basket for basket against a confident Nuggets team.
The Clippers are averaging 105.5 PPG in the series.
ROAD TEAM: #3 Denver Nuggets (3-3)
Something seems to be happening in halftime, maybe head coach Mike Malone is giving a pretty damn good pep talk, or maybe Nikola Jokic is screaming at everyone. The Nuggets are playing like a completely different team following the break. They have shot above 60% in each of the last two third and fourth quarters, and averaged 30.5 PPG in those periods.
Jokic (25.8 PPG, 12 RPG, 5.5 APG) and Jamal Murray (19.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG) are doing their thing in the series, and have been the driving engine in the shocking surge. They are, however, getting support from others. Veteran stretch-four Paul Millsap chipped in 14 third-quarter points in Game 5, while in Game 6, it was Gary Harris (16 pts) and youngsters Michael Porter Jr. (13 pts, 3 threes) and Monte Morris (10 pts, 4 ast, 15 mins).
The Nuggets are averaging 103.5 PPG in the series.
The Nuggets are rolling, but it’s tough to go against the team with the best player in the series, who’s also a two-time champion and Finals MVP.
I think the game will be a dog fight, and the Clipps will come out on top to give us the awaited ‘Battle of LA’ conference finals.
Clippers win, 106-100.