Denver's Paul Millsap says Altercation with Marcus Morris Changed Game 5

Garrett Chorpenning

The Denver Nuggets didn't earn their first lead in Game 5 until halfway through the fourth quarter, but according to veteran forward Paul Millsap, the game changed long before then.

The LA Clippers were in control for much of the first half of Friday night's contest, leading wire-to-wire and taking a 12-point lead into the break. However, just before both teams went into their locker rooms, Millsap and Marcus Morris got into an altercation that resulted in Morris picking up a technical foul.

After the game, Millsap cited the incident as the moment when things changed for the Nuggets.

"They started running their mouths a little bit, and it kinda woke us up," Millsap said. "I know the word is we're soft, and you know, we're not gonna let these guys come in and just push us around, so I think that's what sparked it. We wanted to prove a point that we're not going to be bullied. We're not gonna be intimidated." 

Millsap led the charge for Denver in the third quarter, scoring 14 of his 17 points in the frame and trimming LA's lead down to seven as both teams approached the fourth quarter.

Looking at this from a Clippers perspective, there's a lot more that went wrong in Game 5 than aggravating Millsap, but it seems like that was certainly a factor.

LA's rotations near the end of Game 5 weren't great, as Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams spent a bit too much time on the court and Kawhi Leonard and Ivica Zubac spent too much time off. By the time they came back in, there was no stopping Denver's momentum. 

Fortunately, Game 5 was not the end of the series, and the Clippers still have two games to put the Nuggets away. Their margin for error has been reduced, but LA can still afford to lose another game. Denver cannot. 

Game 6 between the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets will take place on Sunday, Sep. 13 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The game will air on ESPN. 

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