NBA Preview: Nuggets at Clippers

Nuggets at Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers have become one of the hottest teams in the NBA and aim to stretch their season-best winning streak to six games when they host the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. Los Angeles has posted 11 victories in its past 14 games after being seven games below .500 four-plus weeks ago.

The Clippers recorded a 113-102 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday in a tension-filled matchup that included some Houston players trying to get into the Los Angeles locker room afterward to confront forward Blake Griffin and injured guard Austin Rivers. “If it’s chippy, it’s chippy,” Griffin told reporters. “We fought. We had each others’ backs. I think that showed.” Los Angeles will attempt to put the emotions behind as it faces a Denver squad that is saddled with a 7-16 road record. The Nuggets have dropped four of their past six overall games but are coming off Tuesday’s 105-102 home victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Altitude (Denver), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)

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ABOUT THE NUGGETS (23-21): Center Nikola Jokic tallied 29 points and collected a season-high 18 rebounds against the Mavericks for his third 20-point outing in the past five games. “Nikola took it upon himself to be aggressive and confident,” Denver coach Michael Malone said afterward. “Coaching 101: Play through your best player.” Jokic is averaging 26 points, 13.5 rebounds and seven assists over the past two games and will look to carry over last season’s form against the Clippers when he shot 65.2 percent from the field while averaging 17.3 points and 10 rebounds in the four meetings.

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (22-21):
 Shooting guard Lou Williams has fueled the Los Angeles rise by scoring 20 or more points in each of the past 13 games, including outings of 50 (a career best) and 40. The 31-year-old is averaging 31.2 points while making 57 3-pointers during the stretch to raise his average to a career-best 23.3, nearly five points higher than last season’s figure. Williams had 31 points and nine assists against the Rockets and Griffin also fared well with 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Nuggets have won the past three meetings, including a 123-98 victory in Los Angeles on Jan. 21, 2017.

2. Denver SG Gary Harris scored 25 points against Dallas and is averaging 22.5 over his past four outings.

3. Clippers C DeAndre Jordan (ankle) is expected to miss his third straight game.

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