Clippers defeat Nuggets for second straight preseason win, 116-103

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
The Clippers climb to 2-1 in the preseason after beating Denver, 116-103.

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers took advantage of a starless Denver Nuggets lineup in their third preseason game on Tuesday. 

The Clippers walked away from Arena with a 116-103 victory over Denver, who rested key players Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.

Turning point: Clippers center Ivica Zubac dominated early, collecting eight points in the first seven minutes. Paul George also scored 23 points on 13 shots to help lift the Clippers to a nine-point lead at the half. 

Los Angeles’ bench outscored Denver in the third quarter, 31-21. They carried the momentum all the way to a 116-103 win behind a dominant first half performance.

What it means: The Clippers advance to 2-1 in the preseason with Tuesday’s win. While some would argue that the preseason does not hold too much importance, it is the perfect time for this Los Angeles squad to build better habits before the regular season. 

Hits: Paul George led the way for Los Angeles with 23 points in 18 minutes. George went nine for 13 from inside the paint and added five rebounds. Zubac also scored 13 points with eight rebounds and three blocks for the team.

Misses: Marcus Morris Sr. and Mason Plumlee missed Tuesday’s game action due to rest, according to Ty Lue. Lue added no new injuries have occurred in the roster.

Stat of the game: Tuesday’s starters (Nicolas Batum, George, Kawhi Leonard, Zubac, and Russell Westbrook) combined for 22 shots made on 33 attempts. The group finished with 10 assists against five turnovers. 
Up next: The Clippers will close out their preseason on Thursday against the Nuggets at Arena. After preseason, the team will have nearly a week to gear up for their first regular season matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers.