Clippers rout Nuggets as series moves to Denver
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Cuttino Mobley led a balanced attack with
21 points and the Clippers defense frustrated Denver superstar Carmelo
Anthony, as Los Angeles downed the Nuggets, 98-87, in Game 2 of their Western
Conference quarterfinal series.
Elton Brand totaled 19 points and 11 rebounds and Sam Cassell added 13 points
and a game-high 11 assists for the Clippers, who are two wins away from their
first playoff series victory since moving to Los Angeles. They last advanced
during the 1976 playoffs when the franchise was in Buffalo.
The next step in achieving that goal takes place on Thursday at the Pepsi
Center in Denver.
Corey Maggette scored 12 points off the bench while Quinton Ross and Chris
Kaman donated 10 points apiece in the victory.
Carmelo Anthony scored 16 points on just 5-of-15 shooting and Marcus Camby
recorded a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds in defeat. Earl
Boykins, Andre Miller and Greg Buckner added 14 points apiece, as the Nuggets
failed to steal a game at the Staples Center.
The Nuggets won the Northwest Division, but the Clippers received homecourt
advantage because of a better overall record.
“I’m not sure we feel confident right now,” said Nuggets head coach George
Karl. “But by Thursday night, we will be ready to go.”
In their attempt to maintain the homecourt edge heading to Mile High for Game
3, the Clippers came out of the gate strong.
A 13-3 burst opened a substantial 23-9 edge early in the first quarter. Mobley
converted back-to-back baskets during the stretch and Ross’ jumper gave the
Clippers the 14-point lead with 4:09 left in the quarter.
Denver made only 6-of-24 from the floor in the first stanza and found itself
in a 32-13 hole.
“We really jumped on them,” said Brand. “We really blitzed them. That’s the
start we needed.”
The Clippers scored the first six points of the second stanza to take a 25-
point lead. Maggette slashed to the basket for a pair of layups and Shaun
Livingston drained a short running jumper.
Everything went right for Los Angeles in the opening 24 minutes, culminated by
Mobley’s halfcourt three-point heave that beat the buzzer and made the score
Mobley had 15 points to lead all scorers at the break, while Denver shot just
26.8 percent and missed all seven three-point attempts.
Denver went on a 12-3 burst in the third quarter to climb back into the game.
Anthony tallied five of the points and Boykins bookended the spurt with a pair
of baskets. The diminutive guard’s three-pointer made the score 62-50 with
The Clippers held a 75-59 lead after the third quarter.
Los Angeles finally put the contest away in the first few minutes of the
fourth period. Maggette sprinted to the rim for a lay-in, Kaman turned back
the clock with a sweeping hook, Mobley connected on 1-of-2 from the charity
stripe and Maggette drained a jumper to increase the lead to 82-59 with 9:51
Denver never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
Los Angeles last made the playoffs in 1996-97, when it was swept in the first
round by the Utah Jazz, 3-0…Denver shot just 34.2 percent from the
floor…The Clippers had 50 points in the paint to Denver’s 30.