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Nuggets continue home dominance, win seventh straight by blowing out the Clippers

Mar 8, 2013, 1:37 AM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

When you think of the best teams in the league who have consistently dominated opponents on their home floor all season long, the Denver Nuggets probably aren’t at the top of your list.

But they should be.

After thrashing the Clippers on Thursday by a final of 107-92, the Nuggets are now 27-3 at home, tied with the Miami Heat for the best home record in the league, and with two more wins and the same number of losses at home as the one-seed in the West, the San Antonio Spurs.

For years, more than one head coach has lamented the difficulty of playing the second night of a back-to-back in Denver, for a handful of reasons — the odd time zone, the unusually long distance from the airport to the downtown area, and playing at mile-high altitude are all among them.

Coaches should start including this Nuggets squad in those predetermined reasons for failure, and maybe move it to the top of the list.

Denver isn’t playing near the top of the Western Conference as some had somewhat foolishly predicted to start the season, but the team is formidable nonetheless, due in part to the fact that you never know who is going to step up and beat you on a nightly basis. The Nuggets have talent sprinkled throughout their roster, but no “superstar” that you can point to as someone to slow in order to guarantee victory.

That’s just fine with them.

On this night against the Clippers, George Karl went nine deep into his rotation, and seven of his players finished in double figures scoring. Ty Lawson was the elite performer late, finishing with 21 points, six rebounds, and 11 assists — four more rebounds than Blake Griffin grabbed in 31 minutes of action.

The Nuggets have crushed teams on the second night of back-to-backs all season long, and often times, it takes just a single run to gain that separation in order for them to keep their opponent at bay for the rest of the night. That came in the third quarter of this one, when Denver put together a 10-0 run in just 1:30 of game time to put things out of reach.

With the Nuggets leading 67-64 and about five and a half minutes remaining in the third, they simply kicked it into a gear the Clippers could not match. Consecutive three-pointers from Andre Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari pushed the lead to nine, and Lawson got to the rim for a bucket that put Denver up double digits. The run was capped off by an alley-oop from Lawson to Gallinari that sent the lead to 13, and the Clippers never got closer than eight the rest of the way, while the Nuggets’ lead reached as high as 18 points in the game’s final few minutes.

The Clippers may very well chalk this one up to a schedule-maker’s loss, having played the previous night and being tied at halftime in Denver before fading over the game’s final 24 minutes. But the Nuggets are for real, especially at home, and after winning their seventh straight overall and running their home record to a mark that has them tied with the defending champs for the league’s best, it’s hard to argue with that assessment.

  1. rockymountainraider - Mar 8, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    Nuggets balling hard, they made them look bad in that 3rd quarter run.

    • ftball58 - Mar 8, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      Seriously, LA should chalk it up to a schedule maker’s loss? The 1 seed is up for play with Parker out. They’re at full strength now with Hill and Billups back, they had the depth to push for this game. When Paul came out after he made a few shots going into the fourth quarter the white flag had been thrown. For a night the Nuggets put the game away from beyond the arc. The Clippers better keep on winning games, Denver and Memphis are only a few games back of the 2/3 seed.

  2. nuggetsslamfan - Mar 8, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    Another Western Conference win for our NUGGETS!! Seven in a row, including wins over LAL, OKC, and now the LAC. No stars on our TEAM??? I’d say Coach K is the star, considering how these guys play as a TEAM should play. Let’s see how the power rankings look this coming Monday.

  3. e39er - Mar 8, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    Clippers are fools gold

  4. dko83 - Mar 8, 2013 at 4:04 AM

    WC playoffs going to be fun.

  5. davidly - Mar 8, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    Mile high baby.

  6. jacobknicks - Mar 8, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Ty Lawson for MVP?

  7. broncobeta - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Denver fans don’t want to hear any of this advantage at home crap.

    The Nuggets played their first 17 of 23 games of the season on the road.

    Obviously, Mr. Pollakoff knows nothing about Denver, here are the reasons why he states playing in Denver are difficult.

    Fiction: “…the odd time zone”
    Fact: It’s one hour off of Pacific and Central (where the vast majority of their opponents play), and two from Eastern.

    Fiction: “…the unusually long distance from the airport to the downtown area”
    Fact: It’s less than half an hour of a drive. It’s not right outside of the city because it’s the largest airport in North America.

    Fiction: “…playing at mile-high altitude”
    Fact: If you’re an athlete, you should be able to take it. It’s really not that big of a deal if you’re in shape. You can only start complaining once you get around 7k-10k feet above sea level, which towns like Leadville are. In fact, there’s a Leadville Marathon.

    • dko83 - Mar 8, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      Yeah but probably like 60% of these guys smoke crazy amounts of weed so the altitude does affect them.

      • broncobeta - Mar 8, 2013 at 8:06 PM

        Haha. What’s the excuse for the Nuggets then? Weed is legal in Colorado.

      • dko83 - Mar 9, 2013 at 12:23 AM

        Saving it for the off season man. Nuggets are one of my favorite teams, can’t wait to see them upset somebody. It’s going to happen.

  8. jerdogthompson - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Yeah thrashed the Clippers.

    You try dispatching the Bucs fly to Denver get to sleep at 4:30AM and play the next night in altitude. On a normal schedule we plain old punk the Nuggets. Not to mention we were 17 points of the bench short with JC out.

    • broncobeta - Mar 8, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      I’m sorry. I missed the part where we we talking about PROFESSIONAL sports. I was unaware that the Clippers were the only team to have to play back-to-backs.

      God, it wasn’t even a back-to-back on the road. Denver is only an hour difference from LA, get over it.

  9. 4getu - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Another altitude excuse. Get over it already

  10. jimeejohnson - Mar 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    If the altitude advantage is fact, then how come Denver sports teams stink?

    • broncobeta - Mar 8, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      I would dare to say that the Nuggets are good and the Broncos are good.

      However, I cannot speak for the Rockies and Avs as of recently.

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