ESPN’s “The Jump” runs a segment called “Make or Miss” that begins with NBA players saying, “It’s a make-or-miss league.”
Clippers guard Patrick Beverley refused to participate:
— Dan Feldman (@DanFeldmanNBA) April 16, 2019
Beverley fights for every inch on (and off) the court. To him, games are decided by effort and grit – not shooting luck.
Which might explain why he was so frustrated tonight.
After losing Game 1 by 23, the Nuggets evened their second-round series with the Clippers with a 110-101 win Saturday. Denver built a 23-point lead in the first half while shooting 76% on 2-pointers and 67% on 3-pointers.
L.A.’s defense wasn’t disruptive, but it wasn’t particularly porous, either. The Nuggets just made shots. So many shots.
Denver’s offense cooled considerably the rest of the way (38% on 2-pointers, 25% on 3-pointers). But that early deficit was too much for L.A. to overcome.
Beverley got an early exit with a fourth-quarter ejection:
The Nuggets – who just overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat the Jazz in round one – continued to show their fight. Teams that lost Game 1 of a series by at least 20 points had lost Game 2 66% of the time.
Murray (28 points) and Nikola Jokic (26 points and 18 rebounds) led Denver tonight, and several role players helped. Gary Harris (13 points on 4-of-7 3-point shooting with superb defense) was particularly inspiring as he reintegrates into the lineup after injury.
The Nuggets also played better team defense, particularly against Kawhi Leonard (13 points on 4-of-17 shooting).
Was Denver’s defense as stifling as the Clippers made it look at times? No. L.A. was both a bit flat and a bit cold.
That just won’t get it done when a high-offensive-ceiling team catches fire.