The Los Angeles Clippers failed to find the hot offense that led the team on a perfect December, and, for the first time in 18 games, the team lost.
The Denver Nuggets topped the Clippers 92-78, ending the team’s winning streak at 17 games.
Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with 17 points in an even effort that saw six players score in double figures.
“We were all a step slower today,” Blake Griffin, who had 12 points for the Clippers in shooting 4-for-11 from the field, told The Associated Press. “We’ve got to be better than that.We’re not going to sit and cry on the plane and get beat down. We’re not going to cause ourselves to lose our confidence, despite what people want us to do. That’s the best thing about the NBA — you’ve got another game.”
Andre Iguodala said the win could help push the Nuggets to its own streak.
“The Clippers have been playing with that the last 18 games,” he said. “That builds into them winning. They have the mentality every night they’re going to go out there and win. We’ve got to build the same thing and try to string along the same type of win streak.”
Despite the winning streak, not everyone is convinced that the Clippers are a true title contender. ESPNs D.J. Foster said a lack of identity may hurt the team in the long run:
“Even though the Clippers were busted this time, in a game they shot a very Nuggets-ish 5-for-29 from behind the arc, the questions about their future remain. Can the Clippers, a team that’s simple by design, a team that’s so loose and undefined on both ends of the court, rattle off another winning streak in May or June? Was this a fluke, or is it sustainable? Can they accomplish something like this when lurking down the playoff road there’s a grand tactician like Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who will have multiple off-days to pin the Clippers down and force them into becoming what he wants them to be?”
The Clippers winning streak was the longest in the NBA since the Boston Celtics won 19 straight during the 2008-09 season. The team had last lost on November 26, a 105-98 defeat against New Orleans.