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Nuggets beat Clippers to end three-game skid

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Updated 10 months ago on
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DENVER – Doc Rivers applauded the Denver Nuggets for pulling one out against his Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers coach reserved judgment on the referees who called five technicals on his team.

“I’ll let you guys say it,” Rivers said of the officiating in the game. “I keep saying, coaches and players get technicals for losing their composure. I don’t know if we lost our composure today; I’m pretty sure we didn’t.”

In a wild game with a crazy finish, the Clippers rallied from down 18 but wilted at the end, and the Nuggets held on to win 109-106 Friday night.

Forward Wilson Chandler scored seven of his 16 points late in the fourth quarter, and guard Nate Robinson had 20 points off the bench for Denver.

Guard Ty Lawson had 10 points and 14 assists for the Nuggets, who ended a three-game losing streak.

“It was a lot of chaos,” Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. “I’m just happy it went our way for a change.”

Denver led by 18 in the first half but had to withstand a strong second-half surge by the Clippers. Forward Blake Griffin had 32 points and 12 rebounds, and guard Chris Paul had 17 points and 15 assists for the Clippers, who produced a furious sequence at the end the game that nearly paid off.

Trailing by four with 12.6 seconds left, Griffin hit a free throw and deliberately missed the second. The Clippers got the rebound, but guards Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick both missed 3-point attempts in the final 7.9 seconds to end the game.

“I thought it was good,” Crawford said. “It wasn’t one of those shots where it was like, ‘Oh, that’s off.’ I watched it the whole way and thought, ‘Oh, that’s going to go in.'”

Crawford finished with 20 points on a night the Clippers got on the wrong side of the referees. Four of their five technicals were called in the fourth quarter, and three came with 8:19 left in the game.

“I haven’t seen anything like it,” said Paul, who got a technical in the second quarter. “Crazy man, crazy. They’re in control. We just have to do better. As someone who’s been in this league for a while you have to be able to react and then calm down.”

Denver was outscored 31-12 in the third quarter but turned things around to start the fourth. Trailing 74-71, the Nuggets went on a 13-3 run to take a seven-point lead.

Things then got chippy. Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried was called for a flagrant 1 foul on center DeAndre Jordan. Jordan’s retaliation drew a technical and Rivers also was hit with a technical.

“He yelled, ‘That’s a flagrant.’ That’s all he yelled,” Rivers said. “He yelled, ‘That’s a flagrant’ and got a tech. But the players lose their composure. And I guess the coach.”

Jordan then committed a flagrant 1 foul on Denver center Jusuf Nurkic, and the Nuggets rookie hit two free throws and a jumper to give Denver a 90-81 lead.

Faried was hit with a technical after he committed a loose-ball foul, and the Clippers rallied to tie it at 93-93 on two free throws by Griffin.

Consecutive threes by Chandler and forward Danilo Gallinari and a layup by center Timofey Mozgov gave the Nuggets a 107-100 lead with 1:08 left.

“Those were big baskets,” Chandler said. “We needed them.”

Los Angeles hit eight of its first 10 shots in the third quarter to wipe out a 16-point deficit. The Nuggets, who missed their first 10 shots of the period, finally scored on a 3-pointer by Gallinari with 6:02 left in the quarter to make it 62-59.

Guard Matt Barnes hit a layup and then had a steal and layup to give the Clippers a 63-62 lead, their first since early in the game.

The Clippers increased the lead to 71-64 on Redick’s 3-pointer and a Griffin free throw.

Robinson had 12 points in the first half as the Nuggets led 59-43 at the break.

NOTES: Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he was not worried about G Jamal Crawford’s sore elbow. He has not missed any time because of it. “I’m not worried about it,” Rivers said. “Bursa sacs, everybody has one and they go pretty quickly.” … Nuggets F Darrell Arthur was inactive with a lower left leg strain. … Rivers said before the game that he would monitor C DeAndre Jordan’s minutes because of the altitude. “I worry about him here,” Rivers said. “A guy with asthma here, I got to think it has some kind of effect.” … Nuggets G Randy Foye (right quadriceps injury) was initially expected to miss three weeks but has not started running yet. He has been out since Nov. 25.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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