The Denver Nuggets once again took the floor at the Staples Center, this time against the Los Angeles Clippers. Denver took the L 109-103.
The Denver starters played exactly one quarter. Will Barton led with 11 points. What stood out on the opening quarter from Denver’s starting five was an obvious push to establish themselves on the defensive end.
Paul Millsap had three blocks in 12 minutes, Nikola Jokic showed improved footwork and had some nice work defensively in the paint. Gary Harris had a dunk that showed he’s ready for the season. Jamal Murray buried his first three on a catch-and-shoot that would be his only basket of the night.
It was a solid, unspectacular offensive showing for the Nuggets first team but an encouraging defensive show.
Barton had a shot at a lay-in on a runout to end the first quarter that would have brought the Nuggets within two points of the Clippers. While we applaud Denver’s defensive attention, they did surrender 30 to Los Angeles for the quarter.
Remembering last season’s debacle against the Clippers in which the Nuggets surrendered a 19-point fourth quarter lead in an eventual loss. That contributed greatly to Denver’s playoff miss and highlighted Clippers big man Boban Marjanovic. Boban was on the move again for the Clippers in Tuesday’s game, dropping 14 points in 14 minutes.
While the starters played even for the first, the Nuggets reserves would start the second, which begs the question: