Three Takeaways from LA Clippers’ Win over Denver Nuggets

Published 12/26/2020, 6:04 AM EST
Dec 25, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) blocks the shot of Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac (40) in the third quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


The LA Clippers got a modicum of revenge over the Denver Nuggets with a victory on Christmas day. After a disappointing collapse in the playoffs last season, the Clippers could overcome the Nuggets in a significant 121-108 victory. The Nuggets, who played well for stretches during the game, are surely disappointed with the loss to the Clippers, especially after how poorly they started the season.

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The Clippers and Nuggets capped off an incredible NBA Christmas day, with a game was full of thrills and spills. But it was the Clippers who finally demolished some of their demons from the previous seasons. With that in mind, these are the takeaways from the Clippers’ win over the Nuggets.

LA Clippers vanquish some demons

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Dec 25, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) celebrates with forward Serge Ibaka (9) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during a timeout in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Despite it being a regular season game, the Clippers can take a lot from this win. The playoff collapse to the Nuggets last season almost broke the Clippers last season. They fired long-time coach Doc Rivers, and the locker-room conflicts led to the departure of ‘Sixth Man of the Year’, Montrezl Harrell.

Paul George performed poorly during the series, but he was key in the win over the Nuggets tonight. He had 23 points and 9 assists during the game, showing that he can be the players the Clippers want him to be.

Fun Guy is a tough guy

Dec 25, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) is tended to by head trainer Jasen Powell after an injury during a play in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard suffered an awful collision toward the end of the game against the Nuggets. Leonard collided with Serge Ibaka in the fourth quarter and suffered several facial injuries.

However, Leonard walked away in his own power off the court. His injuries appear to be significant enough to rule him out of the next game for the Clippers. However, nothing is certain with Kawhi Leonard.

Denver Nuggets suffer a setback

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Dec 25, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone talks with guard Monte Morris (11) and guard Gary Harris (14) and guard Will Barton (5) during a timeout in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The playoffs last year served as a coming out party for the Denver Nuggets. They defeated the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers, after being down 3-1 in these respective series. Their wins displayed their mental toughness, quality and grit. Players like Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. shined very bright.

But this loss to the Clippers really deflates their bubble. The Nuggets suffered a significant setback because it raises doubts about their victory over the Clippers in the playoffs. However, there is no reason for panic, as it has only been 2 games in 72-game season.

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It remains to be seen what the aftermath of this game will be for both the Clippers and the Nuggets. It is just the first encounter for the two teams in a long season, and the two are favorites to reach the playoffs this year.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1062 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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