On Wednesday, the LA Clippers will take on the Denver Nuggets in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series. With the series even entering Game 3, the Clippers pulled out a win and now lead 2-1.
Los Angeles will have a chance to put the Nuggets in a tough 3-1 hole with a win in Game 4. However, Denver found itself in the same situation against the Jazz and was able to complete the comeback.
But the Clippers have more talent than the Jazz had. It will be much harder to win three straight against a team lead by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
The game is set to tip at 9 pm ET on ESPN.
Leonard, George Lead the Way
Leonard has proven what kind of player he can be in the playoffs and is not disappointing in 2020. He had 23 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists in the Game 3 win.
His performance was highlighted by a fingertip block on Jamal Murray down the stretch.
“I didn’t know it was one finger. It was a heck of a play,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “It was impressive. I didn’t even know where he came from. It was a heck of a play.”
George struggled a bit when initially entering the bubble. He discussed some anxiety issues that were holding him back. But as of late, he has stepped up.
George had 32 points on Monday, leading the team.
“Kawhi’s done more than enough down this stretch. Some nights it’s not going to be his night, and I have to be myself. I have to help him, pull the weight, make plays, make shots,” said George.
Nuggets Trying to Avoid Another 3-1 Deficit
Nikola Jokic stepped up for the Nuggets in Game 3 but didn’t get much help. He scored 32 points, adding 12 rebounds and eight assists. The Clippers don’t have a big man that can slow him down.
Clippers guard Patrick Beverley recently came after the Denver center in a postgame interview.
“Jokic presents the same thing that Luka (Doncic) presents. A lot of flailing, puts a lot of pressure on the referees to make the right calls,” said Beverley.
Jokic was quick to point out that they only had 10 free throw attempts while the Clippers had 26. They are not making it to the line nearly as much as the Clippers in this series.
Murray has to step up and be the star he was in several games against the Jazz if the Nuggets are going to have a chance.
The Clippers seem to be a reliable team with several guys that can step up. This outcome comes down to whether or not Jokic and Murray can keep up with them.
Los Angeles is the favorite in Game 4 with an eight-point spread.
I believe the Nuggets will keep this game close, maybe even coming out with a win to tie things up. Take the Nuggets +8 on Wednesday in Game 4.