NBA News Wire
Nuggets 116, Clippers 115
DENVER — Guard Randy Foye hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the Denver Nuggets rallied to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 116-115 Monday night.
Forward Kenneth Faried scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and guard Ty Lawson added 27 points for the Nuggets, who snapped a two-game skid.
It took a near-miracle finish to end it.
After guard Matt Barnes’ 3-pointer with 6.2 seconds left gave Los Angeles a two-point lead, the Nuggets inbounded the ball near half court. Center J.J. Hickson handed off the ball to Foye, who drained the winner from the top of the circle.
Los Angeles forward Blake Griffin had 36 points and 11 rebounds, and center DeAndre Jordan also had a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
The Clippers have been rolling since the start of the calendar year. They were 12-4 in January despite not having All-Star guard Chris Paul, out since Jan. 4 with a shoulder injury.
He could return as early as the weekend, adding more firepower the rotation.
So far, his teammates are doing well without him. They pulled out Monday’s game with a fourth-quarter push.
With the visitors down by one, Jordan’s dunk and guard J.J. Redick’s 3-pointer gave the Clippers a 103-99 lead.
After two free throws by Lawson, Griffin’s lob pass led to another Jordan dunk.
Six straight free throws gave Denver a 109-107 lead with 2:06 remaining, and after Griffin’s fast-break dunk, Lawson tied it at 111 with 1:21 left.
Griffin hit one free throw and forward Wilson Chandler a pair at the other end to give Denver a 113-112 lead.
The teams traded missed jumpers, setting up the final sequence.
The Nuggets looked crisper with Lawson back in the lineup. After a turnover-filled two games with him on the shelf, they took better care of the ball in the first half.
They struggled in the third quarter, committing eight turnovers, double their first-half output. However, a steal and layup at the buzzer by forward Quincy Miller gave Denver an 82-81 lead heading into the fourth.
Griffin had 22 points in the first half as the Clippers led by 13 at one point. The Nuggets rallied to tie it at 60 heading into the locker room.
NOTES: The Clippers signed G Sasha Vujacic to a 10-day contract, but he did not play Monday. Vujacic, 29, was part of the Lakers’ title teams in 2009 and 2010. He most recently played for a Turkish team the last two seasons, where he averaged 9.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists. … Nuggets G Ty Lawson returned to the lineup after missing two games with a left rotator cuff strain. … Clippers C DeAndre Jordan leads the NBA in field-goal percentage and rebounding. He is vying to become just the third player in league history to finish the season atop both categories. Houston C Dwight Howard and the late Wilt Chamberlain were the other two. … Denver’s 26 turnovers against the Toronto Raptors on Friday were its most in two seasons. The Nuggets gave the ball away 17 times Monday.
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