LOS ANGELES — Danilo Gallinari scored 21 points, including all five of his 3-pointers, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Clippers 112-91 Thursday night, ending Los Angeles’ season-high four-game winning streak that included a victory over the Nuggets last weekend.
Ty Lawson added 18 points, Arron Afflalo 15 and Timofey Mozgov 11 for the Nuggets, who had lost two straight overall and three in a row to the Clippers, their longest active losing streak against any team.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 18 points, Chris Paul added 15 points and nine assists, and Caron Butler had 11 after missing Wednesday night’s win at Utah with a sore lower back. Earlier Thursday, Griffin and Paul were voted to the starting lineup for the All-Star game, giving the Clippers two players on the team for the first time since 1976.
The Nuggets pulled away with a dominant third quarter in which they outscored the Clippers 32-16 while shooting 65 percent. Gallinari hit consecutive 3-pointers to open the quarter, and Al Harrington closed it with two straight 3-pointers. In between, Mozgov had nine points while Los Angeles slumped to 7 of 19 from the floor. Playing their fourth game in five nights, the Clippers closed within 10 points midway through the period before getting outscored 14-5 going into the fourth.
All five of the Clippers’ starters began the fourth on the bench, although Paul checked in 2:10 into the period with his team trailing by 21. He was the only starter to return and he sat down for good a couple minutes later, leaving Mo Williams to run a second unit that never posed a threat. Williams finished with 13 and Randy Foye 17.
Chauncey Billups, who had 32 points in the Clippers’ 109-105 win at Denver on Sunday, had eight points and three assists against his old team.
The Clippers led most of the first half before Denver outscored them 9-4 to lead 54-51 at the break.
NOTES: Nuggets reserve G-F Corey Brewer wasn’t with the team for personal reasons. Coach George Karl said he thought Brewer could be out the rest of the week. … Billups played in his 1,000th career NBA game as did former Clipper Andre Miller. … Rihanna, Billy Crystal and Don Cheadle were among the sellout crowd that included retired Nuggets coach Dan Issel
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