NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Denver 32 25 29 29 115
LA Clippers 34 24 23 22 103
7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET3:00 GMT11:00 8:00 PM MST10:00 PM EST7:00 UAE (+1)04:0022:00 ET9:00 PM CTNaN:� , January 13, 2023 Arena, Los Angeles, California  Attendance: 16,005

Kawhi Leonard looking strong as Clippers welcome Nuggets

According to STATS
According to STATS

Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers

  1. The Nuggets have won 10 of the last 12 matchups with the Clippers, including the last three games of their playoff series in 2019-20. Denver has held Los Angeles to just 103.0 points per game in those 12 games, LA's second-lowest scoring average against any opponent in that span (101.6 vs. New Orleans).
  2. Denver has won four straight games, all by double digits, outscoring opponents by 86 points. That is the Nuggets' best scoring margin over a four-game span since January 2014 (+92).
  3. Bones Hyland led the Nuggets in scoring on Wednesday (tied with Jokic) with 21 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range. It was his sixth game of the season with 5+ made threes off the bench, second most in the NBA (Malik Beasley, eight).
  4. The Clippers got back in the win column with a 113-101 victory over Dallas on Tuesday. They pulled down 12 offensive rebounds for 20 second-chance points and have now had 20+ second-chance points in consecutive games. They had just one game with 20+ second-chance points previously all season (25 on December 5).
  5. Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points on 9-of-12 shooting in Tuesday's win. The Clippers are now 28-6 (.824) when Leonard scores 30+ points, the best team record by any player in 30-point games since 2019-20 (minimum 15 30-point games).
  6. Norman Powell added 27 points off the bench Tuesday, his fourth game with 25+ points this season. The only NBA player with more 25-point games as a reserve is Christian Wood (7).
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Kawhi Leonard is displaying signs that he has regained his All-Star form and has put his serious knee injury behind him.

Leonard looks for his third straight strong performance and also aims to score 24 or more points for the eighth time in 12 appearances when the Los Angeles Clippers host the soaring Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

Leonard tore the ACL in his right knee in June 2021 and missed all of last season. He missed more time earlier this season due to flare-ups in the knee but has recently felt healthier and his performance is showing that.

The two-time NBA Finals MVP scored 29 points during a 112-108 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday and followed up with a season-high 33 points and matched his season best of nine rebounds as Los Angeles posted a 113-101 home victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

The wire-to-wire triumph over the Mavericks halted a six-game slide for the Clippers.

Leonard, who played 36 minutes against the Mavericks, set the tone with 11 first-quarter points.

"I got in a rhythm, knocked down open shots, trusted in my teammates and we were able to pull it out," said Leonard, who was 9-of-12 from the field.

Leonard also has played 34 or more minutes in six of his last seven appearances. He was on the floor for a season-high 38 minutes against the Hawks.

Norman Powell added 27 points for Los Angeles against Dallas. The Clippers, who led by as many as 23 points, committed just 10 turnovers and held a 46-32 rebounding edge.

"I thought it was a good game for us with the way we competed and scrapped for 48 minutes," Los Angeles coach Tyronn Lue said. "And then Kawhi controlling the whole game and being very efficient with 33 points on 12 shots."

Paul George (hamstring) didn't play against Dallas and is expected to miss his fourth straight game. Luke Kennard (calf) could miss his third in a row.

The Nuggets, who are tied for first place in the Western Conference, trounced the Clippers 122-91 in Denver on Jan. 5. The Nuggets led 66-32 at halftime before finishing the shellacking.

Denver also delivered a one-sided victory on Wednesday when it steamrolled the Phoenix Suns 126-97.

Nikola Jokic recorded 21 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists and Bones Hyland also scored 21 for the Nuggets. Hyland was 5-of-7 from 3-point range.

"I was really just feeling it," Hyland said. "The basket felt like it was really wide. It was like shooting a rock into the ocean."

The victory was the fourth in a row for the Nuggets, all at home. Denver averaged 122.8 points during the homestand.

Overall, the Nuggets have won 14 of their past 17.

Denver guard Jamal Murray (left ankle) limped off the court in the fourth quarter against Phoenix, but coach Michael Malone was encouraged with the trainer's report. Murray is listed as probable for Friday's game.

"He just rolled his ankle a little bit and I was actually happy to hear that it wasn't his knee," Malone said, referring to Murray's surgically repaired left knee. "It's just his ankle and he said he's fine and it wasn't anything too bad."

Jokic (wrist) is listed as questionable but has been regularly playing through the soreness. The two-time reigning MVP is averaging 24.9 points, 11 rebounds and 9.7 assists this season.

The Nuggets are 2-0 against the Clippers this season and have won seven of the past eight meetings.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 13, 2023

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