Clippers rally from 25 down in 2nd half, stun Nuggets 87-85

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  • Denver Nuggets
    Denver Nuggets
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Los Angeles Clippers
    Los Angeles Clippers
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  • Nikola Jokic
    Nikola Jokic
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  • Reggie Jackson
    Reggie Jackson
    American professional baseball player, outfielder, coach

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Amir Coffey had 18 points, Reggie Jackson scored 11 of his 13 in the fourth quarter and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a 25-point deficit in the second half for a stunning 87-85 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.

Terance Mann scored nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter for Los Angeles, which won for the fourth time in 10 games since Paul George joined Kawhi Leonard on its lengthy injured list. The Clippers won despite managing a meager 28 points in the lowest-scoring first half in the NBA this season and then falling behind 59-34 midway through the third period.

Denver scored just seven points in the next 10 minutes, allowing the Clippers to mount their improbable comeback. Los Angeles tied it on Jackson’s jumper with 7:03 to play and went ahead on Jackson’s 3-pointer moments later.

Nikola Jokic got back-to-back buckets to put Denver back on top, but Coffey’s 3-pointer with 2:30 left pushed the Clippers ahead for good. Nicolas Batum hit a 3 on the next possession, and Jokic missed a long 3-pointer right before the buzzer.

Aaron Gordon scored a season-high 30 points and Jokic had 21 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets, who couldn't overcome a long stretch of ineptitude spanning the final two quarters. Gordon made 11 of his 16 shots in his highest-scoring performance since joining the Nuggets last March, but Jokic hit only three shots in the fourth quarter.

The Clippers’ supporting cast got an enormous boost to their quest to keep pace in the Western Conference race without both of the team's cornerstones. George is still at least three weeks away from his return from elbow surgery, and Leonard is still recovering from knee surgery.

The Clippers also played without Luke Kennard and Justise Winslow, who are in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

The Clippers' awful 28-point first half was their worst offensive performance since the first half of a 51-point loss to Dallas just over a year ago. The Nuggets weren't a whole lot better, missing 14 of their 16 3-point attempts before halftime. After the Clippers went down 25, they made a 21-3 run in the next six minutes to keep it close.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Played without Will Barton, who entered the health and safety protocols Monday. Rodney McGruder also was inactive one day after Denver acquired him from Detroit in a trade for Bol Bol. ... Austin Rivers started and scored four points after being briefly hospitalized after an unspecified allergic reaction Monday, coach Michael Malone said. The former Clippers shooter was declared fine to play.

Clippers: Kennard has missed six straight games, and Winslow joined him this week. ... Isaiah Hartenstein missed his 12th straight game with a left ankle injury. ... Actor Paul Walter Hauser ("Cobra Kai") was the guest host of the game, wearing a No. 33 jersey with his name on the back as he pumped up the crowd and threw a few karate kicks at Chuck the Condor.

HOPEFUL SIGNS

Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. both got some shots up during early pregame warmups. Murray had surgery to repair a torn knee ligament last April, and Porter had back surgery in December. Neither is close to a return, but Denver hopes both will play in the second half of the season.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Host the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.

Clippers: At the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday.

___

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

Greg Beacham, The Associated Press

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