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Ice-cold Clippers win streak ends at 17 in Denver

Jan 2, 2013, 12:47 AM EDT

Blake Griffin AP

The Clippers were not going to win the next 50 games, there was going to be a day when the shots would just clang off the rim. There was going to be a night when nothing went right.

That night was Jan. 1 in Denver.

The Clippers had shot 48.3% last 15 games, and 41.9 percent from three in their last five games. But a combination of solid Nugget defense and just an ice-cold shooting night had the Clippers shooting 38.2 percent overall and 5-of-29 from three.

The result was the death of the win streak at 17 and a 92-78 Denver win.

And it doesn’t get any easier for the Clippers this week as they fly to Golden State for a Wednesday night game then host the Lakers on Friday. January is not going to be like the perfect December the Clippers had.

We should not shortchange Denver here. With Ty Lawson out (Achilles) Andre Miller stepped in and controlled the flow of the game, with 12 points and 12 assists on the night. Danilo Galliari had 17 to lead six Nuggets in double digits. They earned this win and outplayed the Clippers at both ends of the floor — Denver outhustled and outworked the Clippers all night long.

But that’s not really the story.

This was the Clippers that won every game for a month having an off night — they just missed a lot of open looks. Blake Griffin, who had a couple rough games before this one, was 4-of 11 on the night. Jamal Crawford 2-of-11. Willie Green 1-of-9. Really DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe were the only guys hitting shots, and that wasn’t enough.

It’s also the kind of loss the Clippers can just shrug off. They didn’t lose because of some fundamental flaw with the team, they just had a bad night against a good team. It’s the NBA, that happens. To everyone.

The Clippers can just shrug this off and move on.

They need to move on. At the end of the season this streak will not define them, how they do in the playoffs will. This streak has them 3.5 games ahead of the Warriors and 9 ahead of the Lakers in the Pacific, it gives them a real chance at a great playoff seed and an easier road to advance. That’s all good, but it’s not what they will remember wherever the season ends for them.

Shrug it off, move on.

  1. somekat - Jan 2, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Rough night for LA. Clips lose their streak, Lakers lose to the sixers (and after watching that game and checking the box score, I’m amazed howard was actually on the floor 39 minutes)

    At least the clips have a brighter upside (for this season anyway)

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 2, 2013 at 7:05 AM

      yeah but they have to make noise in the playoffs, not January.

  2. money2long - Jan 2, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    something about “clippers vs nuggets” doesn’t sound right…YIKES

    • davidly - Jan 2, 2013 at 2:12 AM

      Oh, my. You’re right. If anything, you wanna keep ’em away from there!

  3. rickeye9 - Jan 2, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Just want to say the warrior and clippers were tied at the start of the streak and only 3.5 games back, just sayin

  4. davidly - Jan 2, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    The Mile High City is where streaks get stifled. To wit:
    Sunday, February 4, 1996
    The 41-3 Chicago Bulls took their 18 game winning streak into McNichols Arena to face the 18-26 Denver Nuggets, who’d lost seven of their last nine.

    Denver didn’t waste any time, scoring 34 points in each of the first two quarters to take a 25 point lead into the half. They would extend their advantage to 30 before the Bulls made a huge run, outscoring Denver 37-10 to finish the third quarter and bring them within two points going into the fourth.

    But that was all she wrote. The Bulls did all they could to keep pace, but simply ran out of gas, which many will tell you is easy to happen when on the road at that altitude, and especially when playing from behind. They lost the final quarter by four and the game by six, ending their streak.

    The Suns would beat the Bulls two nights later in Phoenix–handing them their only consecutive losses in the regular season–behind 35 points and 16 boards on 14 of 19 shooting from Charles Barkley and 20 points and 10 assists (no turnovers) from the current mayor of Sacramento, Californee-aye-ay, Kevin Johnson.

    Following those two losses, Chicago finished out the season going 31-5 to set the standing NBA record of 72 wins and only 10 losses.

    To put that into perspective, the current Clippers’ squad–who could’ve tied the Bulls longest streak from that season with a win last night–would have to finish the rest of the season at 47-3 to tie the all-time record.

    Ask me some time to tell you about a certain baller who went by the name o’ Skibby MaRue.

  5. mat9844 - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Congrats to the Clippers team and coaches for that incredible run. Yes, we knew it wouldn’t last forever, but it was sure fun while it did. Now, on to the next game. Go Clips!

  6. broncobeta - Jan 2, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    “We should not shortchange Denver here… But that’s not really the story.”

    Are you kidding me? That’s basically saying, “We should not shortchange Denver here, but we are anyway. The Nuggets got lucky and the Clippers lost this game themselves. The Clippers would have lost to a middle school team with that play, so don’t credit the Nuggets at all.”

    I mean where’s the mention of Faried? The man put down Blake Griffin all night.

    What about Javele McGee’s buzzer beating three pointer? Yes. That happened.

    This article is horsecrap and it reminds me why I rarely come to this website anymore. Kurt Helin is obnoxious and extremely biased. Whether it’s PFT, PBT, or TMZ. They’re all the same.

    If this blog is going to suck so horribly, can we at least get the ability to categorize at articles by teams? I mean at least PFT has that.

    • dannymac17 - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      Okay? and they won by 4 points despite the fact the Clippers were basically hung over from new years.

      Did you want the #1 spot in the power rankings, you can have it ya baby.

      they got handily the last time, but nobody cared.

      • skywalker720 - Jan 2, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        The score was Denver 92 LA 78. That’s 12 points not four.

        If you’re going to be condescending and obnoxious the least you could do is make sure that you’re counting correctly.

      • broncobeta - Jan 2, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        Are you sure it was just the Clippers that were hungover, professor?

        Also, who gives a crap about power rankings?

  7. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jan 2, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Ice-cold Clips? Isn’t it supposed to be flaming hot win streak? Oh well…

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