Fri, Oct 19, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Nuggets rally to defeat Clippers in opener


Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams, right, drives to the hoop as Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris, center, defends during their game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Wednesday.

Photo: Jake Roth-USA TODAY

A huge reason for Denver missing the playoffs by one game last season was their road record, but the Nuggets on Wednesday opened the new season by taking care of business away from home after they rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers 107-98.

“That’s what mature basketball teams do. When everything’s not going well, they find ways to win,” said Paul Millsap, who had 11 points and 16 rebounds. “We stayed with it, didn’t panic and were able to execute down the stretch.”

Denver were 46-36 last season, but won only 15 games on the road, which is why their post-season drought was extended to five years.

It looked like the Nuggets’ road woes would catch up with them again. Despite leading for most of the game, they trailed 92-84 with 5 minutes, 14 seconds remaining after the Clippers went on an 11-3 run that was highlighted by a pair of Boban Marjanovic three-point plays.

Denver then closed the game by outscoring Los Angeles 23-6. Gary Harris scored six of his 20 points down the stretch, while Millsap, who missed his first six shots from the field, hit a jumper with 2:55 remaining to give the Nuggets a 95-94 lead and then was six of eight on foul shots.

After a Tobias Harris free-throw tied the game at 95, Nikola Jokic gave Denver the lead for good with 1:24 remaining with a putback layup off Jamal Murray’s missed jumper.

“We closed out the game well, made some shots and defended well,” said Jokic, who led the Nuggets with 21 points along with eight rebounds.

In other games, it was:

‧ Nets 100, Pistons 103

‧ Grizzlies 83, Pacers 111

‧ Heat 101, Magic 104

‧ Bucks 113, Hornets 112

‧ Hawks 107, Knicks 126

‧ Cavaliers 104, Raptors 116

‧ Pelicans 131, Rockets 112

‧ Timberwolves, 108 Spurs 112

‧ Jazz 123, Kings 117

‧ Mavericks 100, Suns 121

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