NBA regular season

Clippers erase 25-point deficit, shock Nuggets

Clippers erase 25-point deficit, shock Nuggets

STUNNER. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic keeps the ball away from Clippers guard Amir Coffey.

Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The slumping Clippers find relief, stunning reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in a huge comeback

Amir Coffey registered 18 points, 7 assists, and 4 steals and the Los Angeles Clippers overcame a 25-point, third-quarter deficit to stun the visiting Denver Nuggets, 87-85, on Tuesday night, January 11 (Wednesday, January 12, Manila time).

Reggie Jackson and Terance Mann added 13 points apiece for Los Angeles, which scored just 28 first-half points. Marcus Morris Sr. had 12 points and Eric Bledsoe tallied 11 as the Clippers won for just the fifth time in the past 14 games.

Aaron Gordon posted season highs of 30 points and 12 rebounds and Nikola Jokic added 21 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists for Denver. Jeff Green had 12 points and Monte Morris tallied 11.

Los Angeles worked its way back from the 25-point deficit to take an 83-81 lead on Coffey’s three-pointer with 2:30 remaining. Nicolas Batum connected for another trey to cap a 52-22 burst and give the Clippers a five-point edge with 1:47 to play.

The Nuggets moved within 87-85 on Jokic’s basket with 28.6 seconds left.

Batum missed a three-point attempt with 9.2 seconds remaining. Jokic collected the rebound, came up court and launched a three-point try that bounced off the rim with 1.2 seconds left.

Gordon’s putback attempt caromed off the rim just before time expired.

Denver shot 40% from the field and a measly 12.1% (4-of-33) from three-point range.

The Clippers shot 40.5% from the field, including 10-of-34 (29.4%) from behind the arc.

Denver had a 13-point lead to start the second half and scored 18 of the first 24 points in the third quarter to open up a game-best 59-34 advantage with 7:04 left.

Los Angeles suddenly awoke with a 21-3 surge, and Coffey’s three-point play cut the deficit to 62-55 with 1:15 left in the quarter.

The Nuggets took a 66-55 lead into the final period before the Clippers rattled off seven straight points. Los Angeles eventually caught Denver at 71 on Jackson’s 10-foot jumper in the lane with 7:03 remaining.

Jackson buried a three-pointer with 5:40 remaining to give Los Angeles a 76-75 edge – its first lead since early in the second quarter.

The Clippers shot just 27.3% in the first half while digging a 41-28 deficit.

Denver led 18-16 after the opening quarter before Los Angeles scored four straight points to take a two-point lead. The Nuggets responded with a 16-4 burst to open up a 10-point lead with 3:25 left in the half. –

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