LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Denver Nuggets 119-102 in their first game without injured all-star Blake Griffin on Tuesday, December 20.
J.J. Redick scored a game-high 27 points for the Clippers, who have won five of their last six games. Chris Paul added 16 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds. Deandre Jordan had 13 points and 13 rebounds while Luc Mbah a Moute contributed 14 points and three rebounds.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers explained his team’s mindset moving forward, as they will be without Griffin for at least 3-6 weeks after the former Rookie of the Year underwent knee surgery.
“They clearly know they have a much smaller margin for error without Blake,” Rivers said. “Without him, this group knows we have to play very well to win games, and very hard, and I think you can see that.”
Will Barton led the Nuggets with 22 points and five rebounds off the bench. Kenneth Faried added a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Danilo Gallinari scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds; Wilson Chandler had 13 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Denver snapped a three-game winning streak with the loss, falling to 12-17 overall and ninth place in the Western Conference. The Nuggets will face the Atlanta Hawks in their next game on Friday, December 23. ‘
The Clippers are 21-8 on the season, tied with the Houston Rockets for third place in the Western Conference. Los Angeles will face the San Antonio Spurs in their next game on Thursday, December 22.