Clippers beat Nuggets 112-100 for 14th win in row
Denver rallied after halftime, using a 15-6 spurt to close to 73-63, capped by Andre Iguodala's free throw after Paul received a technical foul.
The Clippers answered with three consecutive 3-pointers, including two by Green from opposite corners, for an 84-67 lead. The Nuggets ran off seven in a row to get within 10 before the Clippers regrouped with a 9-2 run, capped by Paul's 3-pointer, that kept them ahead 93-76 heading into the fourth.
"They have a confidence right now that's pretty powerful," Nuggets coach George Karl said.
The Clippers stretched their lead to 67-48 at halftime with 42 points in the second, their highest-scoring quarter this season. The bench got things going with a 14-10 run before Paul replaced a wild Eric Bledsoe. His presence settled down the second unit until Griffin and DeAndre Jordan eventually came back in during a 28-10 run the rest of the period that produced the Clippers' first double-digit lead. Driving dunks by Barnes and Griffin, alley-oop dunks by Griffin and Jordan, and consecutive 3-pointers by Barnes and Paul highlighted the scoring binge.
"When we are at our best our starters have a great first quarter and our bench elevates that," Griffin said.
Hamilton banked in a jumper at the buzzer to give the Nuggets a 26-25 lead after a back-and-forth opening quarter. There were nine lead changes and eight ties, with neither team leading by more than three points.
NOTES: The Clippers improved to 13-3 at home, where they haven't lost there since Nov. 26 against New Orleans. ... Denver fell to 3-3 in the first game of a back-to-back set. ... Los Angeles wore all-red uniforms, while the Nuggets were in navy. ... Paul flew in 30 family members from North Carolina to enjoy the holiday. ... It was Paul's idea to have his teammates wear ugly Christmas sweaters to the arena, and his mother procured them. "It shows we're a tight-knit group," Crawford said. Some of the Clippers declared F Matt Barnes the unofficial winner. His green-and-cream cardigan had tinsel, bows and ornaments hanging from it. ... Kanye West was part of a contingent of Kardashians in the house, including Kim and Khloe.