cloudy.png
Friday September 25th, 2020 3:12PM

Clippers set to try, again, to reach the conference finals

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Doc Rivers is fully aware of the adage that says the hardest games to win in the NBA are the ones where one team can end another’s season.

He’d like to amend that theory.

“Just winning a game in the NBA is hard,” the Los Angeles Clippers’ coach said.

For the Clippers, winning a game at this point in the season has been impossible — forever. The franchise that spent decades best described as woebegone has never reached the conference finals, now 0-6 in games where they could clinch a spot in that round after losing to Denver in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Game 6 is Sunday, when the Clippers will once again try to get to a level of the playoffs that they’ve never reached before. They’ll take a 3-2 series lead into the matchup, after wasting a 15-point second-half lead and falling 111-105 to the Nuggets in Game 5.

“We gave a game up,” Clippers forward Paul George said. “Game 6, we’ve got to come in and put them away. That’s the emphasis in the series, Game 6. We’ve got to do our job and do our job better.”

Kawhi Leonard’s 3-pointer with 1:25 left in the third put the Clippers up 80-67. They got outscored 44-25 the rest of the way, shooting 7 for 27 in that span — while Denver was 7 for 9 from 3-point range and 12 for 19 from the floor overall in those minutes.

The Nuggets are now 4-0 when facing elimination this season, after rallying from 3-1 down against Utah in the first round. No NBA franchise has ever pulled off a pair of 3-1 comebacks in the same decade, much less the same season, but Denver still has life.

Paul Millsap sparked the rally by Denver by scoring 14 points in the third quarter, and Nikola Jokic was 4 for 4 from the field in the fourth to help the Nuggets finish the win off.

“We believe in ourselves,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

A look at Sunday’s game:

CLIPPERS VS. NUGGETS

Los Angeles leads 3-2. Game 6, 1 p.m. EDT, ESPN.

— NEED TO KNOW: It’ll make for a big sports day in Los Angeles, with the Clippers starting at 10 a.m. local time, the Chargers playing their NFL opener at Cincinnati at 1:05 p.m. locally and the Rams at home for their opener against Dallas at 5:20 p.m. Pacific. The Denver Broncos don’t open their season until Monday night.

— KEEP AN EYE ON: How the Clippers finish. Other than Leonard, the Clippers were 0 for 9 from 3-point range in the final 13 minutes of Game 5 and 4 for 19 from the field. Leonard had 16 of the Clippers’ final 28 points — yes, he’s a two-time NBA Finals MVP, but even he needs more help than that.

— INJURY WATCH: Will Barton (right knee) remains out for Denver.

— PRESSURE IS ON: The Clippers. If they let this thing go to Game 7, Denver’s confidence won’t be able to fit inside the arena where they would play the deciding game on Tuesday night. There will be an absolute urgency from the Clippers to finish the job on Sunday.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Venice Fest closes amid cheers for daring to open amid virus
The Venice Film Festival is wrapping up the first COVID-era international cinema showcase with critics, filmmakers and actors alike cheering organizers for having dared to hold the festival amid a pandemic
1:06PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Clippers set to try, again, to reach the conference finals
Doc Rivers is fully aware of the adage that says the hardest games to win in the NBA are the ones where one team can end another’s season
1:03PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Oxford, AstraZeneca resumes coronavirus vaccine trial
Oxford University says trials of a coronavirus vaccine that it is developing with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will resume, days after being paused due to a reported side-effect in a patient in the U_K_ The university said in large trials such as this “it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety.”
12:22PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Titans top draft pick arrested, charged with drunken driving
Tennessee Titans rookie Isaiah Wilson has been arrested and charged with drunken driving after he was spotted doing “donuts” in an intersection before crashing into a concrete wall
11:24AM ( 1 hour ago )
F1: Hamilton takes pole at Tuscan GP ahead of unlucky Bottas
Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for the Tuscan Grand Prix ahead of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas
11:08AM ( 2 hours ago )
Alex Morgan joins American influx in English women's league
Tottenham secured the biggest signing yet in a summer of high-profile acquisitions in the Women’s Super League by bringing in United States striker Alex Morgan on a one-season deal
11:01AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Millsap helps Nuggets rally, stun Clippers 111-105 in Game 5
Paul Millsap scored 14 of his 17 points in a pivotal third quarter, Michael Porter Jr. knocked down a late 3-pointer and the Denver Nuggets stormed back from a 15-point, second-half deficit to stun the Los Angeles Clippers 111-105 in Game 5
11:19PM ( 13 hours ago )
Judges: Florida felons can't vote until they pay fines, fees
A federal appeals court has ruled that Florida felons must pay all fines, restitution and legal fees before they can regain their right to vote
5:52PM ( 19 hours ago )
Davis, Lakers run past Rockets for 3-1 West semifinals lead
Anthony Davis was the biggest player on the floor, and the Houston Rockets had no answers
9:55PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Basketball
Steve Nash eager to get started on new career as Nets coach
Steve Nash was a leader, a guy who loved to get the best out of his teammates on the court and build relationships off it
7:41PM ( 2 days ago )
Famed basketball coach Roy Williams pays tribute to Budig
Famed North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams has paid tribute to Gene Budig, the former American League president who also headed three major universities
7:23PM ( 2 days ago )
At home, on the road or at Disney, James is tough to beat
LeBron James now has been part of more postseason game victories than any player in NBA history, a record he’s earned over his 14 appearances in the playoffs
5:08PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - NBA
Venice Fest closes amid cheers for daring to open amid virus
The Venice Film Festival is wrapping up the first COVID-era international cinema showcase with critics, filmmakers and actors alike cheering organizers for having dared to hold the festival amid a pandemic
1:06PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Oxford, AstraZeneca resumes coronavirus vaccine trial
Oxford University says trials of a coronavirus vaccine that it is developing with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will resume, days after being paused due to a reported side-effect in a patient in the U_K_ The university said in large trials such as this “it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety.”
12:22PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Pence drops plan to go to fundraiser hosted by QAnon backers
Vice President Mike Pence has canceled plans to attend a Montana fundraiser for the Trump campaign following revelations that the event's hosts have expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory
12:21PM ( 55 minutes ago )
French yellow vest march has lukewarm relaunch after virus
Activists have relaunched France’s yellow vest movement after the disruptive demonstrations against French President Emmanuel Macron tapered off during the coronavirus pandemic
12:17PM ( 58 minutes ago )
Andersen wins Stage 14 at Tour de France led by Roglic
Soren Kragh Andersen broke clear in a fast-changing finish on the roads of Lyon and has won Stage 14 of the Tour de France
12:04PM ( 1 hour ago )