Home / Sport / Clippers vs Nuggets score, take away: Kawhi Leonard has Clippers one victory away from the finals of the first conference

Clippers vs Nuggets score, take away: Kawhi Leonard has Clippers one victory away from the finals of the first conference

The Los Angeles Clippers took full control of their second round streak with the Denver Nuggets by capitalizing on a fantastic start and reaching a 96-85 Game 5 win to take a 3-1 lead in the series. The Clippers are now within a single win of their first trip to the conference finals in franchise history.

It took the Clippers just eight minutes to build a double-digit advantage, and they maintained that advantage for much of the game. Kawhi Leonard dominated, finishing with 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for a triple double, while Montrezl Harrell went off the bench by 15.

Nikola Jokic did his thing, almost hitting a triple double with 26 points, 1

1 rebounds and six assists, but he didn’t get any help. Jamal Murray, in particular, had a difficult evening, taking 18 points out of 6 of 15 from the field. As a team, the Nuggets shot 39.7% and shot the ball 14 times.

Here are some key points of the game:

Kawhi dominates

This was not an offensive Clippers masterpiece. They shot 41.8% from the field, 28.6% from 3 points and had to make 30 free throws to keep their attack afloat. On nights like that, you need your best player more than ever and Kawhi Leonard delivered him.

He put the Clippers on his back, dropping 30 regular points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, to go along with four steals and two blocks. It was just another consistent performance from the reigning Finals MVP, who always seems to be in complete control. Nothing disturbs him, neither the moment nor the opposing team.

It was his sixth 30-point game in 10 games this post-season, and Leonard now earns 29.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game, while shooting 51.5. %. The Game 2 defeat to the Nuggets was his only negative game so far, and he is proving once again that he is the best player in the league at playoff time.

With Leonard playing this way, it will be difficult to beat the Clippers four times in a row.

The Clippers make Murray’s life difficult

The Clippers had mediocre offensive play, but still won in double figures due to their efforts on the defensive side. They limited the Nuggets to 39.7% shooting and forced 14 turnovers. In particular, they made life extremely difficult for young Nuggets star Jamal Murray.

Murray was tremendous against the Jazz in the first round, putting together some historic performances. In this series, however, he manages only 17.8 points per game and 38.2% of shots. This trend continued in Game 4, finishing with 18 out of 6 out of 15 points from the field.

While the Clippers aren’t always the most consistent team on the defensive side, they have some elite perimeter defenders in Patrick Beverley and Leonard, and they’ve teamed up to make sure Murray never got a break. Take these sequences in the third trimester, for example.

Beverley chases Murray across the screens, harasses him on the trip and forces a tough layup that Murray misses.

A few minutes later, he has Leonard in his face, and he gets so excited that he turns him around.

Murray and Jokic are responsible for half of Denver’s postseason points, and when one of them is contained this way, they stand no chance.

Clippers on the verge of history

Victory in Game 4 gave the Clippers a 3-1 lead in this series, which puts them not only in complete control, but on the brink of history. Another victory and for the first time in the franchise’s history they will enter the Western Conference Finals.

Dating back to their 1970 debut as the Buffalo Braves, the Clippers never made it past the second round of the playoffs. In fact, they’ve only managed to win six playoff series in all that time, and that includes their first-round triumph over the Mavericks. The final drought of their 50-year conference is the longest in the NBA.

Assuming the Clippers get the job done at some point in the next few games, the Atlanta Hawks (44) will seize the unflattering title, with the Washington Wizards (41) not far behind.

Source link