It didn’t look like Nikola Jokic had a wrist injury when he nearly missed a triple-double with 32 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists for the Denver Nuggets in a Game 3 loss against the LA Clippers.
The Western Conference Semifinals is following a zig-zag pattern with the Clippers winning Game 1, but dropping Game 2 before getting back on track with a win in Game 3.
Heading into Game 4, Doc Rivers’ Clippers want to thwart the “zag” and keeping “zigging” against Denver.
|#2 LA Clippers (2-1) vs Denver Nuggets (1-2)|
- Tip-off: 6:00pm PT
- Point Spread: -8
- Total: 220.5 o/u
- Money Line: LAC -350 / DEN +300
The Clippers are a big favorite once again heading into Game 4, while the Nuggets are a +8 underdog.
The Clippers are -2500 odds to win the series and advance to the Western Conference Finals. The Nuggets are +1050 odds to pull off the comeback.
According to a recent update by DraftKings, the Clippers are 2/1 odds to win the 2020 NBA Championship.
If the Clippers want to keep up the pressure, they’ll have to keep feeding Paul George the ball. He’s finally looking like the All-Star we’ve seen on highlight reels.
After averaging 18.5 ppg in the first round against the Mavericks, PG13 turned around his shooting woes. He’s averaging 24.3 ppg against Denver.
In Game 3, George dropped 32 points on 12-for-18 shooting in the victory.
“PG did a great job,” said Kawhi Leonard. “He came out there with energy, led us on both ends of the floor. We just followed his lead.”
Leonard excelled in timely defense. In crunch time, he blocked a shot with his middle finger to help seal the victory for the Clippers.
“I didn’t know it was one finger,” said Doc Rivers. “It was a heck of a play. It was impressive. I didn’t even know where he came from. Heck of a play.”
With the Clippers putting the clampdown on Jamal Murray, and Jokic playing through a wrist injury, not too many people give Denver a chance in Game 4. That suits head coach Michael Malone fine. He thrives on being the underdog.
“No one gives this team a chance to do a lot of things,” said Malone. “We don’t really care what anybody thinks about us, especially outside of Colorado. It’s the belief that we have in the locker room. It’s been there since day one.”
After a sensational first-round duel averaging 31.6 points per game against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz, Jamal Murray has had a quiet semifinals round. Credit the Clippers, especially Patrick Beverly, for shadowing and harassing Murray every time he gets the ball.
Murray averages 17.7 ppg against the Clippers. He’s shooting only 36.8% from the floor and 30.4% from beyond the arc.
Murray scored just 12 points in Game 1. In Game 2’s victory, Murray tallied 27 points.
In Game 3’s loss, Murray scored 17 points on 2-for-7 shooting from 3-point range.
“I just missed so many shots,” said Murray. “I just gotta be better. Put that game on me.”
It seems rather simple; if the Clippers contain Murray, that’s a blueprint for a victory. If Murray goes off, then he puts Denver in a good position for a victory.