After being defeated in Game 1, the Denver Nuggets set the tone of Game 2 and the Los Angeles Clippers struggled to keep up. The Clippers dropped Game 2 against the Nuggets 101-110.
“I thought offensively, we refused to move the ball and make simple plays,” said Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. “As beautiful as we moved the ball in Game 1, we’re the exact opposite in Game 2.”
Clippers guard Paul George led with 22 points and forward Kawhi Leonard made 10 rebounds. Guard Jamal Murray dropped 27 points for the Nuggets and center Nikola Jokic made 18 rebounds.
“I was trying to win the game,” Murray said. “Just being aggressive and got to the paint. I saw a lane and got a steal.”
The Nuggets attacked early, launching to a 16-4 run with Murray contributing 11 points in the time frame. Denver dominated by pushing the pace, making 11 fast break points. Los Angeles found points, but was cold behind the arc, ending the first quarter behind 25-44.
“We just can’t allow a team to start a game with 44 points,” said Clippers center Ivica Zubac. “After that, we tried, but it was hard, some shots wasn’t falling, we missed free throws.”
Denver kept their momentum during the second quarter, guard Monte Morris sank a floater to give the Nuggets a 20-point lead. The Clippers lost possessions to the Nuggets, allowing their lead to expand to a 23-point advantage. As the Nuggets scoring slowed down, the Clippers made plays on the offensive and defensive end.
“Give them credit for the defense they were throwing at us,” George said. “They did a good job of just swarming us and we got to be better.”
George poured in eight points in the second quarter to help find an offensive momentum. However, Denver was ahead 56-72 at the half.
Zubac got rebounds, free throws, and baskets. Down the line, forward Michael Porter Jr. made stops and caught rebounds to maintain their advantage.
“They double teamed, collapsed into the paint on drives,” Leonard said. “Two easy ones didn’t fall already and that was it from there.”
Los Angeles cut their deficit to five points while Denver dealt with an offensive drought. Three pointers made by guard Gary Harris helped the Nuggets execute a win.
The Clippers will clash against the Nuggets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals on September 7 at 6:00 P.M.