Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/30

Game 1: Friday, November 30th
Game 2: Friday, January 4th
Game 3: Monday, January 21st
Game 4: Sunday, April 7th

Clippers 93

(7-9, 0-5 away)

Nuggets 96

(7-9, 5-5 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 30, 2001

    Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 14 31 21 2793
    DEN 24 20 22 3096

    Top Performers

    LAC: Q. Richardson 26 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Den: R. LaFrentz 26 Pts, 15 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 Blk

    Nuggets end four-game losing streak

    DENVER (AP) -- Raef LaFrentz has his own way of dealing with trade rumors he's involved in.

    He ignores them.

    Despite talk of a trade, LaFrentz made two free throws in the last six seconds and had 26 points and 15 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets ended a four-game losing streak with a 96-93 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

    "People can say what they want to say, but I haven't been playing badly," said LaFrentz, who found himself frequently in coach Dan Issel's doghouse during the four-game skid. "All I can concentrate on is taking my shots. What did Dan say today?"

    Issel laughed, but offered nothing more than an assessment of LaFrentz's night.

    "Raef was terrific," Issel said. "He gave us what we needed on the inside and that tip he had at the end was huge."

    LaFrentz was 4-for-5 shooting and 5-for-6 from the line in the fourth quarter, and Nick Van Exel added 18 points for the Nuggets, who beat the Clippers for the seventh straight time in Denver.

    Quentin Richardson had 16 of his 26 points in the final period for Los Angeles, which had its two-game winning streak stopped. Elton Brand had 17 points and 12 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season.

    "We turned the ball over on some real mental mistakes and we still had an opportunity to win a game on the road," Los Angeles coach Alvin Gentry said. "Quentin's fourth quarter didn't surprise me because he's been playing well."

    After LaFrentz's tip of a miss, Van Exel sank two free throws with 17 seconds left to put Denver ahead 94-91. Lamar Odom missed a 3-pointer with 17.5 seconds left and LaFrentz sealed it with two free throws.

    "I just missed it," said Odom, who had 10 points and five rebounds. "It shouldn't have come down to that because we missed too many free throws and had the slow start."

    The Clippers opened the fourth with an 8-0 run, with six of the points coming from Richardson to lead 74-66. LaFrentz and Van Exel keyed a 12-2 run with a 3-pointer each to give Denver a 78-76 lead 78-76 with 7:24 left. After LaFrentz put Denver up 90-88 with two free throws, Richardson hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left giving Los Angeles a 91-90 lead.

    In the third quarter, two short jumpers by Brand gave the Clippers their biggest lead at 58-50, but Van Exel -- who missed his first eight shots -- hit two straight 3-pointers to pull the Nuggets ahead 61-60 with 3:08 left in the third.

    Sean Rooks' fadeaway jumper from 10 feet in the last 34 seconds of the third quarter tied it 66-66 for Los Angeles, which led 45-44 at halftime.

    "We really needed this one, having to go on a four-game road trip," Issel said. "It would have been tough to go on a trip 6-10."

    Game notes
    Eric Piatkowski was the only Clipper on the team when it last won in Denver on March 8, 1998. ... Brand and Jeff McInnis had the only two field goals in the first eight minutes as Los Angeles started out 2-for-14 from the field. ... Shawnelle Scott drew the start at center for Denver to have a bigger body on Michael Olowokandi. He finished with four points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes. ... The Nuggets have hit at least one 3-pointer in 209 straight games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 96
    FGM-FGA 37-84 (.440) 36-93 (.387)
    3PM-3PA 4-9 (.444) 7-24 (.292)
    FTM-FTA 15-25 (.600) 17-22 (.773)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-47 23-49
    Assists 22 19
    Turnovers 13 13
    Steals 6 10
    Blocks 13 5
    Fast Break Points 6 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 20 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Quentin Richardson Richardson
    Points: 26
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2
    Raef LaFrentz LaFrentz
    Points: 26
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 2