Monday , May , 01 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Nuggets hope to stave off elimination against Clippers

(Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Clippers can knock out the Denver Nuggets
tonight, as the teams meet for Game 5 of their best-of-seven first-round
playoff series at the Staples Center.

The Clippers lead the set 3-1. They have returned to the playoffs for the
first time since the 1996-97 campaign, when they were swept in the
opening round by the Jazz, 3-0. In fact, the Clippers, who were the
Buffalo Braves until the 1978-79 campaign, were eliminated in the opening
round in 1992, 1993 and 1997.

The Braves, who became the San Diego Clippers after the 1977-78 season,
defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 2-1 in the first round of the 1975-76
playoffs for the only series victory in franchise history.

The third-seeded Nuggets won the Northwest Division in the regular season, but
the sixth-seeded Clippers have the homecourt advantage because of a better
overall record.

On Saturday, Corey Maggette scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead
a balanced Clippers attack in a 100-86 win over the Nuggets in Game 4 at the
Pepsi Center.

Shaun Livingston added 16 points, six rebounds and six assists in Game 4s win
for Los Angeles, while Vladimir Radmanovic netted 14 and Chris Kaman
contributed 12 points in the victory.

Carmelo Anthony had 17 points and 11 rebounds in the loss for the Nuggets, who
failed to follow up Game 3s 94-87 win with another triumph. Marcus Camby ended
with 14 points and six boards, while Andre Miller scored 14 points and dished
out nine assists in defeat.

The Clippers, who have lost two straight contests when they have a chance to
eliminate their opponent from the playoffs, are 0-5 all-time in Game 5s in
the postseason, while the Nuggets have dropped two straight Game 5s.

Denver has lost four straight contests when it faces elimination.

The Nuggets and Clippers, who won Games 1 and 2 of the series at the Staples
Center, are meeting for the first time in the postseason.

Denver is appearing in the postseason for the third straight year. The Nuggets
fell in five games in the opening round to Minnesota in 2004 and San Antonio
in 2005.

During the regular season, the Clippers won three of the four meetings between
the clubs. The teams split a pair of games at Denver, while the Clippers won a
pair at the Staples Center.

If Denver wins tonight, Game 6 is scheduled to be played on Thursday at the
Pepsi Center.