DEN
LAC

No Text

Nuggets rally in fourth to defeat Clippers in opener, 107-98

LOS ANGELES (AP) A huge reason why the Denver Nuggets missed the playoffs by one game last season was their road record.

The Nuggets opened the new season on Wednesday by taking care of business away from home as they rallied in the fourth quarter and defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 107-98.

''That's what mature basketball teams do. When everything's not going well they find ways to win,'' said Paul Millsap, who had 11 points and 16 rebounds. ''We stayed with it, didn't panic and were able to execute down the stretch.''

Denver was 46-36 last season but won only 15 games on the road, which is why its postseason drought was extended to five years.

It looked like the Nuggets' road woes would catch up with them again. Despite leading most of the game, they trailed 92-84 with 5:14 remaining after the Clippers went on an 11-3 run that was highlighted by a pair of Boban Marjanovic three-point plays.

Denver then closed the game by outscoring Los Angeles 23-6. Gary Harris scored six of his 20 points down the stretch while Millsap, who missed his first six shots from the field, hit a jumper with 2:55 remaining to give the Nuggets a 95-94 lead and then was 6 of 8 on foul shots.

After a Tobias Harris free throw tied the game at 95, Nikola Jokic gave Denver the lead for good with 1:24 remaining with a putback layup off Jamal Murray's missed jumper.

''We closed out the game well, made some shots and defended well,'' said Jokic, who led the Nuggets with 21 points along with eight rebounds.

The Nuggets were 33 of 87 from the field but outrebounded the Clippers by nine (56-47).

Los Angeles wasn't much better from the field, going 35 of 87, but it was 8 of 28 on 3-pointers.

''What stood out to me was what I said before the year, which was, `Can we close games?' and tonight we didn't do that,'' Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. ''We had a lead, we had to go offense for defense a little bit. Down the stretch, we really just didn't get good shots.''

Tobias Harris had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Marjanovic added 18 points for the Clippers.

Will Barton added 19 points for Denver, with all but six coming in the first half.

Denver led 59-54 at the half after scoring the final six points of the second quarter. The Nuggets then extended the lead to 63-54 early in the third quarter before the Clippers slowly whittled it down to two (74-72) at the end of the quarter.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Denver was without Isaiah Thomas (right hip surgery), Jarred Vanderbilt (right foot surgery) and Michael Porter Jr. (lower back surgery). ... Trey Lyles added 10 points.

Clippers: Danilo Gallinari had 16 points while Lou Williams added 14. ... Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was the 11th overall pick in this year's draft, scored 11 points in his NBA debut.

HAPPY EXTENSION

The win capped off a good day for Denver coach Michael Malone, who received a contract extension after Wednesday's shootaround. The team did not announce the terms of the deal.

THUNDEROUS DUNK

Marjanovic's dunk and hanging on the rim with 6:55 remaining in the fourth quarter caused a slight delay as the basket needed to be realigned.

UP NEXT:

Nuggets: Have their home opener against Phoenix on Saturday.

Clippers: Continue their three-game homestand on Friday against Oklahoma City.

---

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
+ 1 Paul Millsap made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:03
+ 1 Paul Millsap made 1st of 2 free throws 0:03
  Personal foul on Tobias Harris 0:03
  Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee 0:04
  Patrick Beverley missed driving layup 0:06
+ 1 Paul Millsap made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:12
  Paul Millsap missed 1st of 2 free throws 0:12
  Team rebound 0:12
  Personal foul on Patrick Beverley 0:12
  Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap 0:12
  Lou Williams missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:14
Team Stats
Points 107 98
Field Goals 33-87 (37.9%) 35-87 (40.2%)
3-Pointers 8-24 (33.3%) 8-28 (28.6%)
Free Throws 33-42 (78.6%) 20-24 (83.3%)
Total Rebounds 67 52
Offensive 14 9
Defensive 42 38
Team 11 5
Assists 20 21
Steals 6 3
Blocks 8 9
Turnovers 10 12
Fouls 22 32
Technicals 1 0
21 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST
19 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST
1234T
away team logo Nuggets 1-0 29301533107
home team logo Clippers 0-1 2430182698
Team Stats
away team logo Nuggets 1-0 109.1 PPG 47.7 RPG 24.0 APG
home team logo Clippers 0-1 114.7 PPG 40.2 RPG 25.3 APG
Key Players
N. Jokic C 20.1 PPG 10.8 RPG 7.3 APG 51.1 FG%
T. Harris SF PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
N. Jokic C 21 PTS 8 REB 5 AST
T. Harris SF 19 PTS 10 REB 1 AST
37.9 FG% 40.2
33.3 3PT FG% 28.6
78.6 FT% 83.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
N. Jokic 21 8 5 6/13 1/4 8/10 4 33 1 1 2 2 6 +8 39
G. Harris 20 3 2 6/16 0/3 8/8 3 34 0 0 0 3 0 +15 27
W. Barton 19 5 2 6/12 3/5 4/4 2 34 0 2 2 0 5 +10 28
P. Millsap 11 16 0 1/7 0/1 9/12 2 30 1 1 2 3 13 +20 27
J. Murray 7 5 3 3/12 1/4 0/0 2 31 1 0 1 2 3 +18 18
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
N. Jokic 21 8 5 6/13 1/4 8/10 4 33 1 1 2 2 6 +8 39
G. Harris 20 3 2 6/16 0/3 8/8 3 34 0 0 0 3 0 +15 27
W. Barton 19 5 2 6/12 3/5 4/4 2 34 0 2 2 0 5 +10 28
P. Millsap 11 16 0 1/7 0/1 9/12 2 30 1 1 2 3 13 +20 27
J. Murray 7 5 3 3/12 1/4 0/0 2 31 1 0 1 2 3 +18 18
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. Lyles 10 7 0 3/6 0/1 4/6 2 18 1 0 1 0 7 -10 17
M. Morris 7 2 4 3/9 1/2 0/0 0 16 1 0 0 1 1 -9 18
M. Beasley 5 1 1 2/6 1/3 0/0 1 11 0 0 1 0 1 +1 7
J. Hernangomez 5 6 1 2/3 1/1 0/0 1 15 1 1 0 2 4 -8 15
M. Plumlee 2 3 2 1/3 0/0 0/2 5 13 0 3 1 1 2 0 11
I. Thomas - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Akoon-Purcell - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Welsh - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lydon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Craig - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Vanderbilt - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Porter Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 107 56 20 33/87 8/24 33/42 22 235 6 8 10 14 42 +45 207
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. Harris 19 10 1 6/13 2/6 5/6 4 40 0 3 2 1 9 -5 32
D. Gallinari 16 8 1 5/13 4/7 2/2 6 33 0 0 1 2 6 +9 25
A. Bradley 8 2 0 4/10 0/2 0/0 2 27 1 2 2 2 0 -9 11
M. Gortat 6 6 2 3/5 0/0 0/0 3 18 0 0 0 0 6 -5 16
P. Beverley 0 4 6 0/8 0/5 0/0 5 19 0 1 1 0 4 -9 16
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. Harris 19 10 1 6/13 2/6 5/6 4 40 0 3 2 1 9 -5 32
D. Gallinari 16 8 1 5/13 4/7 2/2 6 33 0 0 1 2 6 +9 25
A. Bradley 8 2 0 4/10 0/2 0/0 2 27 1 2 2 2 0 -9 11
M. Gortat 6 6 2 3/5 0/0 0/0 3 18 0 0 0 0 6 -5 16
P. Beverley 0 4 6 0/8 0/5 0/0 5 19 0 1 1 0 4 -9 16
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
B. Marjanovic 18 8 0 6/8 0/0 6/6 3 17 0 0 2 2 6 +7 24
L. Williams 14 1 5 4/10 2/6 4/5 4 24 0 0 1 0 1 -4 24
S. Gilgeous-Alexander 11 2 4 5/6 0/0 1/1 1 28 1 1 3 0 2 0 20
M. Harrell 6 5 1 2/8 0/0 2/2 3 16 0 2 0 1 4 -11 15
L. Mbah a Moute 0 1 1 0/5 0/2 0/2 1 9 1 0 0 1 0 -12 4
M. Scott 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 -6 0
T. Wallace - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Motley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Delgado - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Thornwell - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Teodosic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Robinson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 98 47 21 35/87 8/28 20/24 32 234 3 9 12 9 38 -45 187