The LA Clippers fell to the Denver Nuggets by a final score of 111-105 on Friday night, collapsing in the fourth quarter after blowing a 16-point lead.
The Clippers were dominant in the first half, leading wire-to-wire throughout and making defense a priority. Through the first two quarters, LA allowed just 44 points on 37.8% shooting from the field and 3-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc. The Clippers, on the other hand, sank half of their looks from the floor and 9-of-17 from deep.
The game got tight near the end of the third quarter when Denver managed to pull within six points, but timely triples from Marcus Morris Sr. and Kawhi Leonard swung things back in LA's direction.
That is, until Denver got hot.
Led by Paul Millsap, the Nuggets went on a 13-2 run from the end of the third to the start of the fourth, making it an 82-80 game with less than 10 minutes to play. Denver continued to chip away and eventually took its first lead of the game halfway through the quarter.
The Nuggets didn't look back from there, pushing their lead to eight points and getting clutch buckets to go from Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray.
Ultimately, the Nuggets outscored the Clippers 38-25 in the final frame.
It was an especially painful loss for Clippers fans to suffer, but fortunately, there are still two games left in the series. The Clippers have some margin for error — the Nuggets do not.
The LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets will play Game 6 of the series on Sunday, Sep. 13 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The contest will air on ESPN.