Despite persistent trade rumors, Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony was able to focus on basketball Wednesday night.
He scored 30 points as the injury-depleted Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 100-95, but was just 6-19 from the field.
Instead, Anthony lived at the free throw line, where he went 17-19. He also grabbed 14 rebounds.
The loss in their home opener dropped the Clippers to just 1-4 in the preseason, but the team has to be encouraged by the performance of Blake Griffin. The former No. 1 overall pick dazzled the home crowd with high-flying dunk after high-flying dunk.
Griffin, still technically a rookie due to missing all of the 2009-10 season, led Los Angeles with 24 points and 14 rebounds. He’s averaged 15.8 points and 11.5 rebounds through his first five preseason games.
He shot 7-13 from the floor, and was an impressive 10-12 from the free throw line.
Clippers center Chris Kaman chipped in with 23 points.
Point guard Baron Davis, playing in his second game of the preseason, scored seven points and dished out six assists in 24 minutes.
The Nuggets led 57-55 at halftime, but opened the third quarter with a 13-3 run, and led by 18 at one point.
However, fueled by Griffin and World Champion guard Eric Gordon, Los Angeles fought its way back into the game, eventually tying it at 91 late in the fourth quarter, before two late free throws from Arron Afflalo iced the game for Denver.
Gordon scored 19 points on 6-19 shooting, including 3-9 from three-point range.
Excluding a Shelden Williams jumper, all Denver points in the fourth quarter were scored by either Anthony or Afflalo, who added 27 points and nine rebounds for the Nuggets.
Regulars Chris Andersen, Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington all sat out with injuries for Denver, and Chauncey Billups was given the night off by head coach George Karl.
DeAndre Jordan and Craig Smith were injured and did not play for the Clippers.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.