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Denver Nuggets thump LA Clippers to reach the WC NBA Finals

Don’t sleep on Denver – The catchphrase for Denver fans will almost signify their teams performance in last 2 series.  Before 2020 Playoffs there were only 11 instances when a team won overcoming 3-1 deficit. After all this is 2020 and anything can happen. Denver Nuggets has become the first NBA team in playoff history to make a comeback twice in a same season trailing 3-1. Nikola Jokic averaged 24.4 points,13.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists,1.4 blocks over the series. Denver will face Los Angeles Lakers in the Conference finals.

Denver Nuggets
Image Courtesy : NBA.com Twitter

Los Angeles Clippers has now 50 seasons of NBA final drought as they imploded in last 3 games. This marks the 3rd time for Doc Rivers not winning a series after going 3-1 up.

Clippers story NBA 2019-20

Preseason & Regular Season

Los Angeles Clippers after securing Paul George from Oklahoma Thunder last year developed a Championship winning squad of Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, Montrez Harrel. When 2019 NBA Champion Kawhi Leonard announced that he is looking to play for one of the 2 L.A franchises amidst of all the rumors with Los Angles Lakers,  Clippers secured the deal away from LeBron’s team. They finished the second in the league win record of 49-23 under Championship winning coach Doc Rivers.

Postseason

In the first round against Dallas Mavericks Clippers registered 4-2 win which included a blow out win scoring 154 points (Clippers postseason record). Kawhi Leonard was the leading scorer for the team both in regular season and post season. Montrez Harrel won the NBA-2020 Sixth man of the year.

Nuggets story NBA 2019-20

Preseason & Regular Season

Denver Nuggets with a heart broken last season in the game 7 against Portland Trailblazers moved on pretty quick and started working to develop the chemistry between the team. They made no notable transactions during transfer window. Serbian International Jokic led the team in the regular season along with teammates Jamal Murray, Paul Millsap finished 3rd with 46-27 winning record.

Postseason

Denver played Utah Jazz in their first round of western conference. They went 3-1 down in the series owing to Utah’s Donovan Mitchell ruthless performances. Facing elimination on line Jamal Murray countered Jazz with two 50+ point games in playoffs, the only player after Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson  to do so and helped his team secure a spot in conference semifinals.

A look back at what happened actually in the 7 game series. 

CLIPPERS DOMINANCE

#Game 1 : Clippers 120 – Denver 97

Denver Nuggets after coming from the brink of facing elimination has struggled with the offense in the first game. 3 point shooting was way off the mark for a team who finished 3rd in the regular season. clippers dominated the game as Kawhi stepped up with 29 points and took the game away registering a 23 point win over Denver.

#Game 2 : Clippers 101 – Denver 110

The only game in which Denver outscored Clippers in the first half was in the 2nd match up. With no fans available for the home team in the bubble Jokic and Jamal Murray ousted LA team and scored 44 points in the first quarter. Patrick Beverly was ejected after receiving back to back technical fouls. Denver went on to win the game as Clippers fight back was not enough.

#Game 3 : Denver 107- Clippers 113

Joker’s 32 points went in vain as the clippers took a 2-1 lead. Playoff P as they call Paul George went on to score 32 points while The KLAW scored 23 points. Denver were outplayed in the final quarter of the game. Kawhi blocking Jamal Murray’s shot at the basket with his middle finger which stood out as the play of the game.

#Game 4 : Denver 85 – Clippers 96

Fact is NBA bubble has leveled out the teams home court advantage with no fans in the stands. Denver lost their second consecutive home game found themselves again at the cusp of elimination. Kawhi with his almost a triple double (30 points,9 assists,11 rebounds) took clippers home with just an inch way from conference finals.

NUGGETS REDEMPTION

#Game 5 : Clippers 105 – Denver 111

Nuggets outscored Clippers in the second half 67-53 . Paul Millsap the hero of Game 5 rescued with 14 point 3rd quarter along with Nikola Jokic’s 22 point game. Kawhi the lone wolf in the entire series carried the clippers again with a 36 point game. Michael Porter JR who struggled through out the game came with a dagger 3 point shot and very important block in the dying minutes stole the game for them.

Denver Nuggets
Image Courtesy : Twitter.com

#Game 6 :  Denver 111- Clippers 98

Clippers scored 35 points in the entire second half while Nuggets scored 64 points. Nuggets overcame a 22 point lead in the 2nd half and equaled the series 3-3. Clippers shooting was way of the mark, they did not look like a team who has one of the best offensive rating in regular season. Paul George scored 33 points and Kawhi scored 25 points nearly half their tally tried hard but were not enough to close out the series.

#Game 7 : Clippers 98 – Denver 111

Game 7 is always when you should leave everything on the floor and Nuggets did exactly what they had to do, Denver outscored clippers in every aspect of the game. Jamal Murray went berserk and scored 40 points in the elimination game. Clippers were 0-10 FG at a stage in the 4th quarter. Kawhi, Paul George were all rattled by the self-inflicted turnovers and heavy defense of nuggets team.

One line Summary : Clippers lack championship winning mentality and Nuggets team is so much UNDERRATED.

Also Read: Key Takeaways From UEFA Champions League 2019-2020

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