NBA: Clippers pull away, put Nuggets on brink of elimination


Posted at Sep 10 2020 12:09 PM | Updated as of Sep 10 2020 12:23 PM

NBA: Clippers pull away, put Nuggets on brink of elimination 1
Jamal Murray (27) of the Denver Nuggets plays defense against Kawhi Leonard (2 )of the LA Clippers during Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals of the NBA Playoffs on September 9, 2020 at The AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Andrew D. Bernstein, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP.

(UPDATED) The Los Angeles Clippers weathered a third-quarter rally by the Denver Nuggets to grab a 96-85 victory in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinals series.

Kawhi Leonard put up an all-around performance, with 30 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, four steals, and two blocks.

Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell came off the bench for 15 points, while Lou Williams had 12 markers.

The Clippers got off to a strong start and led by as much as 18 points in the first half, but the Nuggets worked their way back and were down by just eight points, 48-40, at the break.

Denver went on to score the first eight points of the third quarter, knotting the count at 48 with 10 minutes left off two free throws by Paul Millsap.

But the Clippers pulled away again, thanks to reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. His close range shot touched off a 21-5 run that put the Clippers back in control of the game.

By the time Lou Williams canned a floater with over three minutes left, Los Angeles had restored a comfortable lead, 69-53.

Los Angeles maintained a double-digit spread the rest of the way to go up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Denver last threatened when Jamal Murray hit a triple to cut the deficit to single digits, 92-83, with 2:09 to go. But the Clippers were quick to douse their rally, as Leonard assisted on an Ivica Zubac dunk to restore an 11-point margin.

Zubac had 11 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks for the Clippers, who limited the Nuggets to under 40% shooting in the game.

The Nuggets, who barged into the conference semifinals after coming back from a 1-3 deficit against the Utah Jazz, find themselves on the brink of elimination once again.

Nikola Jokic led Denver with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists, while Murray had 18 points and Michael Porter Jr. scored 15 off the bench.