They probably didn't even need that.
The Clippers' practice at a recreation center in nearby Lakewood might have had more intensity than their 107-92 victory over the overwhelmed Nuggets at Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets are far removed from the team that held the NBA's best home record two years ago, the current incarnation inspiring talk of lottery balls, not playoff pushes.
They failed to put up much resistance against J.J. Redick, who scored 17 of his 25 points in the first half to help the Clippers win a second consecutive game. The Clippers (51-26) have also won nine of their last 10 games, though mostly against less-than-stellar opponents.
"We're headed in the right direction at the right time," said Redick, citing his team's improved defensive efficiency since the All-Star break.
Chris Paul put together another strong all-around game with 23 points, nine assists and only one turnover, and a foul-plagued Blake Griffin added 12 points, part of a Clippers starting five that each notched double figures in scoring.
The Clippers' recent success has kept them in position to host a first-round playoff series depending on how things go over their final five regular-season games. It also helps that their next two games are against the dreadful Lakers.
"I think our favorite road game of the season is coming up tomorrow," Paul said of the designated Lakers home game on Sunday.
Their triumph Saturday was largely free of drama. Two kids playing Clippers versus Nuggets on a video game system in the concourse at halftime were engaged in a far more spirited competition.
The Nuggets tried intentionally fouling DeAndre Jordan late in the third quarter, but the Clippers center made three of four free throws before Coach Doc Rivers briefly took him out of the game. Jordan finished with 22 rebounds to go with his 14 points and three blocks.
Wilson Chandler had 17 points for Denver, which was already short-handed before losing guard Jameer Nelson to a strained right hip flexor in the second quarter. The Nuggets were also without guard Ty Lawson (bruised forearm) and forward Danilo Gallinari (rest).
The game was essentially over after the Clippers made nine of their first 11 shots, including their first five three-pointers, on the way to a 24-6 lead.
The big cushion gave the Clippers a chance to evaluate Lester Hudson, who is nearing the end of the 10-day contract he signed late last month. It was a mixed performance for the veteran guard, who had a turnover on a bad cross-court pass but also drove for a layup. He finished with four points on one-for-five shooting along with three rebounds and one assist in 16 minutes.
"I was disappointed that he wouldn't shoot the ball, and he's a scorer," Rivers said. "I know what happens — you come [to] our team, you hear about the ball movement, so you want to be part of the ball movement. When he came out, I said, 'We move the ball to you, so if you're open, you shoot the ball.' But overall, I thought he was pretty good."