Win over Nuggets proves Clippers are legitimate threat

Norman Powell, LA Clippers
Norman Powell, LA Clippers / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday night's victory over the Denver Nuggets was more than just another digit in the win column for the LA Clippers. It signified the team finally getting a bothersome monkey off its back.

For so long, the Clippers had been unable to overcome Nikola Jokic and their Western Conference rivals. It seemed that no matter when or where LA matched up with Denver, the Nuggets simply seemed to have their number.

The Clippers came into Wednesday evening having lost 11 of their last 12 total matchups with the Nuggets. Since January of 2022, LA had suffered eight losses in a row to the Nuggets, with the most recent loss being arguably the most painful.

It seemed as if history would continue to repeat itself heading into Wednesday's game, too. The injury report was updated just before tipoff to reveal Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon would both be playing, giving Denver a fully healthy squad.

The Clippers finally broke their Nuggets curse

But against all odds, LA found a way to reverse their fortunes. After a rough first quarter, the Clippers put together a solid defensive performance and took care of business on their home floor, even holding Nikola Jokic to an uncharacteristically bad shooting night.

The win got the Clippers back to .500 at 10-10 overall and put them just 1.5 games back from the sixth spot in the West standings. Most importantly, it improved their record to 7-3 in their last 10 games.

This was a massive win that was emblematic of the Clippers' slow but steady progress over the last several weeks. It has been easy to criticize this group, but results like this prove they are beginning to put it all together.

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Knocking off a supremely talented and clearly championship-caliber Denver Nuggets squad was a double whammy for this Clippers group trying to find their way. In one fell swoop, they finally dealt a blow against their most persistent foe while also showing they are capable of taking down the most top-notch competition in the league.