Despite having an off day on Saturday, the Los Angeles Clippers may feel more fatigued than the Denver Nuggets, who will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set.
This is because Los Angeles lost to the Kings on Friday night, 176-175, in the game that had the second most points scored in NBA history. Sacramento prevailed over the Clippers, who now face Denver on Sunday night, after two overtimes.
In a game that lacked competitiveness for the majority of the evening, the Nuggets lost to Memphis on Saturday night by a score of 112-94, snapping their four-game winning streak.
The Clippers and Nuggets will meet for the fourth and final time during the regular season on Sunday. This will be Los Angeles’ last chance to defeat the best team in the Western Conference. It also marks the return of the Nuggets’ No. 1 Bones Hyland. at the trade deadline earlier this month, the Clippers acquired one draft pick in 2021 in exchange for two second-round picks.
Hyland was Denver’s backup point guard, but he was cut from the rotation at the end of January, and his situation with Los Angeles hasn’t changed. He appeared in his first two games with his new team, but he was unable to participate in Friday’s game, Russell Westbrook’s first with the Clippers since signing earlier in the week.
Friday marked Westbrook’s debut with 17 points and 14 assists, but he also committed seven turnovers before fouling out.
Reggie Jackson will also play his first game against his former team on Sunday. Jackson was acquired by the Nuggets after the Hornets terminated his contract and traded to Charlotte at the last minute by Los Angeles. Jackson played his second game with his home team on Saturday.
In his debut, Jackson scored seven points, including a heave from beyond the halfcourt at the end of the third quarter in Thursday’s 115-109 victory over Cleveland. He was added to the roster by Denver because he is an experienced point guard who has played in multiple playoff games.
Despite dealing with a few injuries, the Nuggets have continued to win. Jamal Murray returned to action on Thursday against Cleveland after missing six games due to inflammation in his right knee. In the defeat against the Grizzlies, he scored eight points in 25 minutes.
Aaron Gordon’s health is a concern for Denver. Due to a left rib injury, he has missed five games in a row and probably won’t play against the Clippers. Following the loss on Saturday night, coach Michael Malone stated that there is no set timetable for his return. Malone stated that on Sunday, he would discuss Gordon’s availability with the team trainers.