DENVER (AP) — Even the NBA's hottest team can have a bad night.
The Denver Nuggets took advantage of the Los Angeles Clippers' shooting woes Tuesday night, getting 17 points from Danilo Gallinari in a 92-78 victory that snapped the Clippers' franchise-record, 17-game winning streak.
Poor shooting, particularly from 3-point range (5 of 29, 17.2 percent) and the free-throw line (13 of 29, 44.8 percent) doomed the Clippers' streak, the longest in the NBA since the Boston Celtics won 19 in a row from Nov. 15-Dec. 23, 2008. The Clippers avoided matching their season-low in points when Eric Bledsoe hit a jumper in the final seconds.
"Throughout the course of the game, it's tough when you're missing shots, but at the same time you have games like that and you have to figure out how to get around it, which we didn't do," said Blake Griffin, who had 12 points but shot less than 50 percent from the field (4 of 11) for the first time in 18 games.
"That's the result of a game like this. We did a poor job defensively and that carried into our offense with missing shots. It snowballed and just went downhill."
The Nuggets, of course, had something to do with that and Andre Iguodala said the victory against the Clippers, who built their streak in part with a Christmas Day win against Denver in Los Angeles, would help the Nuggets build "our confidence, our swagger.
"The Clippers have been playing with that the last 18 games. That builds into them winning. They have the mentality every night they're going to go out there and win. We've got to build the same thing and try to string along the same type of win streak."
The loss was the first for the Clippers since a 105-98 setback against New Orleans on Nov. 26. It also marked the end of a franchise-record seven-game winning streak on the road.
Kenneth Faried added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who won their eighth in a row at home.
Bledsoe scored 12 points, DeAndre Jordan had 11 and Chris Paul 10 for the Clippers.
"Maybe two or three of the 3's that we missed, they had a hand in our face," Paul said. "But we got all the shots that we wanted. There are going to be nights like that. It just hasn't happened for a while."
Andre Miller had 12 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets starting in place of point guard Ty Lawson, who has been bothered by tightness in his left Achilles' tendon for the past week and missed a game for the first time this season.
"We don't win this game without Andre," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "He just got us easy baskets, got a lot of guys involved, gave our team a lot of confidence."