The Los Angeles Clippers received the best Christmas present they could have hoped for today—a 112-100 thrashing of the Denver Nuggets, extending their franchise-best winning streak to 14 games.
With the win, and the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s loss earlier in the day to the Miami Heat, the Clippers now own the league’s best record at 22-6. It was the Clippers first-ever home win on Christmas Day.
While Chris Paul was dishing-and-swishing, and Blake Griffin was bounding-and-astounding, the Clippers reserves, aka A Tribe Called Bench, outscored the Nuggets’ second unit 64-48.
Jamal Crawford led the Clippers reserves with 22 points and Matt Barnes added 20 points of his own. Eric Bledsoe chipped in 12 points in only 16 minutes. Crawford leads NBA reserves in scoring.
While Paul’s (14 points, 8 assists) and Griffin’s (13 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists) numbers weren’t gaudy, they didn’t need to be as the entire squad showed solid solid chemistry. The Clippers continued to show why they’re the most well-balanced team in the league with seemingly every player that suited up providing a signature stamp on the game.
Kosta Koufos and Jordan Hamilton both tallied 16 points for Denver in what was the final game of the NBA’s Christmas Day festivities that featured five marquee matchups including two games at Staples Center. The Los Angeles Lakers beat the New York Knicks 100-94 in the first game.
Down by one heading into the second quarter, the Clippers ripped off 42 points to take a 67-48 lead into halftime. It was the team’s highest-scoring quarter all season.
Denver good a respectable job of trying to close the gap in the third quarter, going on a 15-6 run to come within 10 points. However it was not to be as the Clippers hit three consecutive shots from behind the arc pushing their lead to 17, which they held until the end of the third quarter.
The Clippers were outscored in the final period 24-19, and the Nuggets shot 61 percent, but the game was already in hand for Los Angeles.
Home cooking at the Staples Center continues to be a boon for Los Angeles who improved to 13-3 at home where they return Thursday night to face the Boston Celtics.
Usually Clippers fans are used to receiving a lump of coal in their stockings. Clearly the Clippers made Santa’s “nice” list this year.