Clippers outlive Jokic

Jokic was doubtful before the game, but he made Denver dream, which sank in the final minutes; Paul George, with 32 points, recovers his best version.

If the third game of the series between the Nuggets and Clippers has been clarifying, it is for two reasons: one, because Denver has shown that it is much more than people thought of them, and that it has a real capacity to do more than bother his rivals; and two, that it is enough for the Angelenos to go jerkily and rely on their individual talent to carry out their games despite playing worse than their opponent. Something magically ironic but radically true if we base ourselves on what we have been in this season and on this last game, in which with little brilliance and a very effective job, the Clippers have taken the lead in the semifinals of the West . An award for some excessive if we take into account the level shown or the intermittent disconnections that the Doc Rivers team has during its commitments the excellent performance of the Colorado franchise, which has known how to play all the time except at the end, when it has wasted a advantage of seven points (97-90) with eight minutes remaining, to faint and end up conceding a partial of 23-10 that has been definitive.

Yes, the unexpected resistance of the Nuggets almost has its reward, although the Clippers have avoided at all times that the advantages they had in the second game (25-44 at the end of the first period) were repeated. This time the Angelenos have managed to always be in the game, avoiding the slight threats of separation. The largest of them, at the end of the second period, when an income of 12 points (57-45) was about to tip a balance that was equaled before the break with another set (59-57) based on talent and not on an especially group game that will make the viewer fall in love. Paul George's good work was instrumental in keeping the Clippers in the game, and his performance (32 points, 14 of them in transition, 2 more than all the Nuggets combined) was a blessing to his teammates and to himself, with Highly questioned performances in the bubble and numbers that are far from that man who was third in the vote for MVP last season. The star is on the mend and has improved in the last five games (since those famous Instagram comments), in which he is at 24.6 + 6.2 + 4, with an excellent 49.4% on field goals. and 43.6% in triples.

Along with him has been Kawhi (23 + 14 + 6), key in that final stretch of the game in which a comeback motivated by good defenses (Kawhi, Beverley) and an offensive crisis of the Nuggets that they fall in love at times but generate doubts in the final moments of each encounter. The other day they handled well what was a considerable advantage, but when the opponent squeezes it is a game of heads and tails, and today like today they do not know how to manage the situation while in others such as the seventh game against the Jazz they take advantage of a rival with even more doubts than they. A tremendous block from Leonard on Murray (27 points) gave a good example of the defensive power of the forward, who was excellent at the end, defending the passing lines well and not allowing his rivals to receive. Especially, and this was indeed a choral work, they managed to annul Jokic at the most opportune moment. The Serbian was doubtful before the game due to wrist discomfort, but he forced and almost made a full frame in the third match, which ended with 32 points (13 of 24), 12 rebounds and 8 assists. Great game of the one who was master and lord but who could not close at the end either, when the wrists tremble whether or not they are injured.

The game was forged, therefore, in a clutch time for which the Clippers have a reliable structure and that is solved too much with an individual talent that they have to spare. The exchanges on the scoreboard and the draws were constant, but in the end, the offensive short circuit of some allowed the victory of the others and gives the Angelenos an advantage in a series in which there is a clear favorite (much more than in any of the three other semifinals) and in which the Nuggets arrived at the first game exhausted after an eternal series against the Jazz (comeback included). Of course, they have competed in the next two from you to you and have stolen a victory from the one who can be the number 1 contender in a bubble in which everyone can lose and only one will end up winning. On the night of Wednesday through Thursday we will see the gas that Denver has left and the magic that the Clippers can develop. Until then, we will have one more question: whether the Angelenos will be able to pull off trade and individual talent in a Finals game or will they need something more. If partial disconnections and defects can be alleviated exclusively with a Kawhi that solves everything in the end. For now, it is working. Later (if they arrive) and with another rival ... we'll see.

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