Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/21

Game 1: Wednesday, November 21st
Game 2: Friday, November 30th
Game 3: Friday, February 29th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 8th

Nuggets 117

(47-31, 16-23 away)

Clippers 99

(23-55, 13-27 home)

    Coverage: FSW

    7:30 PM ET, April 8, 2008

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 23 40 28 26117
    LAC 23 24 27 2599

    Top Performers

    Den: C. Anthony 36 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    LAC: C. Mobley 25 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast

    Nuggets-Clippers Preview


    Just when it seemed like the Denver Nuggets were on their way to clinching a playoff spot, a couple of surprising losses have them in danger of missing out on the postseason.

    Denver looks to avoid a third straight defeat to a Western Conference team out of the playoff mix when it visits the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

    The Nuggets (46-31) were rolling along with nine wins in 12 games when they hosted Sacramento on Saturday, but the Kings came away with a 118-115 victory. On Sunday, Denver visited a Seattle team with the worst record in the West and lost 151-147 in double overtime.

    That defeat, coupled with Golden State's 108-96 loss at New Orleans earlier Sunday, left the Nuggets and Warriors tied for the eighth and final playoff berth in the West.

    Denver has the worst road record among the nine teams in the conference playoff race at 15-23, and including this game, plays its next three away from home. The Nuggets visit Golden State on Thursday and Northwest Division-leading Utah Saturday.

    "We've got to get all three of them," guard J.R. Smith said. "We got to beat Golden State because they're right on our heels. We owe Utah and we got to beat the Clippers just to stay ahead.

    "If we don't play, we'll be sitting at home watching the playoffs."

    Carmelo Anthony is trying his best to not let that happen, scoring 47 points against the Kings and 38 versus the SuperSonics. Anthony is fourth in the NBA with 25.9 points per game, right behind teammate Allen Iverson (26.3).

    While scoring hasn't been a problem for the Nuggets -- they lead the league with 110.6 points a contest -- stopping the opponent has. Denver is 29th in the NBA in points allowed (107.0) and has given up the third-most offensive rebounds (982).

    "It's like in the first half we feel out the game and don't play with an urgency, especially defensively," coach George Karl said. "When we're scoring points we kind of have a looseness defensively ... You want to win and you want to make stops."

    Denver beat the Clippers (23-54) for the second time in three meetings this season Feb. 29, but needed two jumpers from Iverson in the final two minutes to win 110-104. The Nuggets lost 101-90 to the Clippers at Los Angeles on Nov. 21.

    "It's a situation where we need to regroup and get our energy back and our confidence back, go out on the road and hopefully start with the Clipper game and give a 48-minute type of effort and then have two great battles on the road," Karl said.

    Los Angeles lost for the 21st time in 25 games Sunday, 105-79 to Houston. Elton Brand, playing just his third game of the season and first at home, had 19 points and eight rebounds in 36 minutes.

    Brand missed 74 games while recovering from surgery on his torn left Achilles' tendon after being injured Aug. 3 during a workout.

    The Clippers, though, played without center Chris Kaman (sprained right ankle) and forward Tim Thomas (sore Achilles' tendon). Forward Corey Maggette, averaging a team-leading 22.2 points, left midway through the first quarter with a strained right hamstring and didn't return.

    "It's ironic because I come back and Corey strained a hamstring," Brand said. "I feel good. I don't have any limitations when I'm playing. I can get 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds) if I get the minutes."

    Denver did a good job against Brand last season, holding him to 15.3 points over three meetings -- his second-lowest average against a conference opponent.