LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) The Los Angeles Clippers continued its impressive start to the season after scoring a 112-100 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Christmas Day Tuesday night.
After seeing the Los Angeles Lakers stretched its own brief winning run to five games with a win over the New York Knicks earlier in the day, the Clippers picked up from a slow start to beat the traveling Nuggets and extend its franchise-record winning streak to 14 games.
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro was delighted with his team’s performance recently, but remains grounded.
“It’s nice, but it’s Christmas and we have a long way to … a lot of games to play and a lot of improving to do,” he said on NBA.com.
Jamal Crawford scored 22 points off the bench and Matt Barnes added 20 and eight rebounds for the Clippers (22-6).
The hosts have the best bench in the league this season and it showed when helping to score a massive 42 points in the second quarter.
Del Negro admits: “We had good bench production tonight, especially in that second quarter, and at the end of the third a little bit to withstand their run.
“Just a good, overall team effort.”
Leading point guard Chris Paul collected 14 points, eight assists, four rebounds and three steals and Blake Griffin ended with 13, six boards and six assists as the Clippers improved to 13-3 at home.
Eric Bledsoe finished with 12 points and Willie Green chipped in with 11 for the Clippers to move past Oklahoma City (21-6) for the best record in the NBA this season. The Thunder were beaten by the Miami Heat on the day.
Kosta Koufos paced the Denver Nuggets with 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting to go along with his 10 rebounds, while Jordan Hamilton also had 16 points off the bench.
“They’re a very good running team and they’re very athletic, so we wanted to just play within ourselves and play smart throughout the game,” Koufos said.
“I thought we established ourselves early on. We were getting some good looks, but at the same time, shots weren’t going in.”
Ty Lawson scored 15 points and Andre Miller added 12 points and six assists for the Nuggets (15-14), which suffered only its second defeat in six games.
L.A. Clippers 112 vs Denver 100
When: 10:30 PM ET, Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Officials: #55 Bill Kennedy, #61 Courtney Kirkland, #12 Violet Palmer