Denver Nuggets

Preview: Nuggets at Clippers 12.26.16

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LOS ANGELES — Injuries are piling up on the Los Angeles Clippers.

Starting shooting guard J.J. Redick is the latest casualty, leaving Sunday’s 111-102 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers with a sore left hamstring after scoring 22 points in 26 minutes. Although the Clippers haven’t announced whether Redick will play in Monday night’s contest against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center, it’s a safe bet he will sit out.

“I would describe it as mild, day-to-day thing,” Redick said after losing to the Lakers. “It could be a day, could be seven. I don’t know.”

The Clippers already have been without Blake Griffin (right knee surgery) and Chris Paul (strained left hamstring). Paul was scheduled to start against the Lakers, but he felt discomfort before the game and had a change of heart.

Paul, who missed the last two games after getting hurt in a win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, appeared ready to play after a good session at Saturday’s practice. However, now he probably won’t play against the Nuggets, either.

“Chris said that after talking to the doctors before the game, it was decided that he would miss the next two games,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “We’re going thru a tough stretch right now and need to play better regardless of injuries.”

Regardless, the Clippers, who have dropped three of their last five games, including their last two, are hoping to soothe their wounds against the Nuggets. The Clippers have captured six of their last seven meetings against the Nuggets, winning by an average of 10 points.

In their last contest six days ago, Los Angeles recorded a 119-102 romp. A dominant third quarter was the difference for the Clippers, whose starters were able to rest in the fourth quarter.

In the Nuggets’ defense, they were playing the second end of a back-to-back after beating the Dallas Mavericks. It also was Denver’s third game in four nights. Fatigue was definitely a factor, coach Michael Malone said.

This time the Nuggets come in rested. They haven’t played since Friday when they suffered a 109-108 setback to the Atlanta Hawks in Denver. The Nuggets blew an eight-point lead in the final 1:43 to fall.

Defense remains one of the Nuggets’ weaknesses. They ranked 26th in points allowed at 109.7 per game heading into Sunday’s contests. Opponents are shooting 46.7 percent per game, which was tied for 25th with the Phoenix Suns.

However, the Nuggets are the NBA’s No. 2 rebounding team at 47.9 per contest.

The Clippers were seventh in opponents’ scoring at 101.9 per game and tied for fifth best in holding the opposition to 44.2 percent shooting before their defeat by the Lakers. In rebounding, the Clippers were 17th at 43.5.

Offensively, the Clippers were averaging 109.1 points (fifth) before Sunday’s loss compared to 107.5 for the Nuggets.

The Clippers will be playing their fourth game in five nights. They had consecutive games against the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks on Thursday and Friday before facing the Lakers. Los Angeles also has an upcoming three-game road trip at New Orleans, Houston and Oklahoma City before the end of the month.

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