Denver at Los Angeles

Nuggets pound Clippers in preview of season opener

CBS wire reports

LOS ANGELES -- DerMarr Johnson scored 17 points to help the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-86 on Friday night in the preseason finale for both teams.

Andre Miller had 15 points and nine assists and Reggie Evans had 13 rebounds for the defending Northwest Division champions, who finished their exhibition slate 5-3. They are back at Staples Center next Thursday night for the season opener against the Clippers, whom they lost to in the first round of the playoffs.

Corey Maggette had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who also finished the preseason 5-3 after shooting just 29.7 percent against the Nuggets. They are coming off their best season in franchise history, going 47-35 and then beating Denver in five games before getting eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns.

Carmelo Anthony didn't see action for Denver after getting 32 Thursday night in a victory over the Lakers. Neither did Nene, who rested his right knee after playing on Thursday. Center Marcus Camby missed his sixth straight game because of a cyst in his left foot and is taking medication for it.

Nene hopes to make it through the season opener this time. Last year, the 23-year-old center blew out his right knee and missed the final 81 games of the season and the playoffs. The Nuggets signed the restricted free agent to a six-year, $60 million contract in July.

Denver forward Kenyon Martin scored 13 points in 16 minutes. Martin's limited minutes against the Clippers in the playoffs led to a heated confrontation with coach George Karl during halftime of Game 2 in Los Angeles, and a subsequent suspension for insubordination. Martin, who has been mum on the subject in recent days, is still due more than $70 million over five years.

The Nuggets never trailed, running out to a 35-17 lead while the Clippers missed 16 of their first 22 shots. Los Angeles never got closer than 13 points after Elton Brand's three-point play made it 69-56 with 8:05 left in the third quarter. The Nuggets put it away in the fourth, as Joe Smith scored eight points during an 18-6 run that opened up a 103-76 lead with 3:08 remaining.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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