Nikola Jukic strengthens nuggets on clippers

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Dossier – Nikola Gokic, No. 15 of the Denver Nuggets, drops the ball on the field against the Dallas Mavericks in the second quarter at Ball Arena on March 13, 2021 in Denver, Colorado Matthew Stockmann / Getty Images / AFP (Photo by Matthew Stockmann / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP)

Nikola Gokic made another statement in his MVP nomination, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 110-104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Gokic finished a total of 30 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Denver’s Michael Porter Jr. contributed 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and BJ Dozer added 16 points.

With this victory, the Nuggets (43-21) outperformed the Clippers (43-22) to finish third in the Western Conference by half a match. Denver also finished with a 2–1 season series advantage over Los Angeles, to clinch a potential tie-breaker.

Kawhi Leonard returned to the Clippers starting line-up after missing five matches. Leonard, who has played only one game in the past three weeks due to a right foot injury, finished with 16 points and six assists.

Paul led George Los Angeles with 20 points but struggled to get the ball into the basket, finishing 5-21 from the court. Rajon Rondo added 18 points and five assists on the bench, with de Marcos Cousins ​​contributing 16 points in 14 minutes.

The Clippers opened the match with his first seven shots and an early lead by 11 points. Los Angeles retained the 28-27 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

However, the Nuggets outperformed the 56-45 Clippers during the next two quarters, and led Denver by 10 points at the end of the third quarter. Los Angeles narrowed the deficit to three points just over two minutes ago but couldn’t come close.

The Nuggets are riding a five-game winning streak – the longest running streak in the NBA – and have won nine of their past 10 matches.

Denver superstar Jamal Murray attended the match at Staples Center. Murray injured his left knee anterior cruciate ligament on April 12 and underwent surgery at the end of the season. Nuggets – 9-1 without him.

The Clippers equaled their longest losing streak this season, three games. They will try to get back on track on Tuesday when visiting the Toronto Raptors.

The Nuggets remain in Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Monday.

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