Let there be no doubt that the Los Angeles Clippers are the hottest team in the NBA right now. The Clippers completely overwhelmed an athletic Denver Nuggets team, winning, 112-100, in impressive fashion in the final game of the NBA's five-game Christmas slate. The victory was the Clippers' 14th in a row, with 10 of those wins by double digits.
The Clippers move to 22-6 with the win, which makes them the best team in the NBA after Oklahoma City's loss earlier in the day.
The Clippers turned it on in the second quarter, scoring 42 points in a terrifying display of fast breaks, thunderous dunks and stifling defense. Led by their deep bench, the Clippers eventually took a 19-point halftime lead. The Nuggets rallied in the third quarter to cut the Clippers' lead to nine on two separate occasions, but then the Clippers' bench re-entered and took control. A Chris Paul three put the Clippers back up 16 by the end of the third quarter, and the lead eventually swelled beyond 20 points early in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers' bench once again was the key. They outscored Denver's bench, 64-43, led by huge performances from Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford. Paul added 14 points and eight assists in the victory. Kosta Koufos led the Nuggets with 16 points on 8-8 from the field.