Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Clippers: Lineups, preview & prediction 4/7/18
It is essentially an elimination game for the Los Angeles Clippers, who need to beat the Denver Nuggets on Saturday to stay in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Clippers (42-37) are in tenth place in the Western Conference, two games behind the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets, who are both 44-39 and also fighting for the last playoff spot in the West.
Los Angeles, though, have faltered down the stretch with three losses in their last four games and were thumped 117-95 at Utah on Thursday night. Austin Rivers scored 19 points and Montrezl Harrell added 17 off the bench, but sixth man Lou Williams had an off night with 12 points on three-of-12 shooting as the Clippers made just three of 17 from 3-point range.
The Clippers are in danger of missing the postseason for the first time in seven years and this will mark the first time in six seasons they will not win 50 games.
Denver helped their cause with a 100-96 victory over Minnesota on Thursday night for their fourth straight win, and the teams could have what amounts to essentially a one-game playoff in the regular-season finale Wednesday at Minnesota.
Jamal Murray scored 22 points and Nikola Jokic finished one assist shy of a triple-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Nuggets won despite shooting 39.3 percent and scoring only four points off turnovers.
Devin Harris scored a season-high 20 points in just 20 minutes, hitting five of nine from 3-point range. The veteran guard has averaged 10.3 points and 3.3 assists in his last 11 games, reaching double figures on seven occasions.