Alex English scored 34 points and Lafayette Lever added 28 as the Denver Nuggets defeated the Clippers, 128-119, Tuesday night, handing the Clippers their 11th consecutive road loss and 31st in 34 games.
The Clippers scored nine straight points and pulled to within 122-117 with 1:10 to play on a three-point basket by Mike Woodson.
But English made a short jump shot 18 seconds later, and the Nuggets’ T.R. Dunn hit four free throws down the stretch.
Darrell Walker scored 19 points, and Bill Hanzlik had 17 for the Nuggets.
Michael Cage led the Clippers (11-56) with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Darnell Valentine had 17 points, and Woodson and Rory White had 16 each.
“Our main objective tonight was to keep control of the game and not get caught up in a fast-paced transition game,” Clipper Coach Don Chaney said. “You do that with Denver and you’re in a losing situation. Our team plays hard, and I like that. Despite our record, our guys are not losers and I admired them tonight.”
Denver remained 3 1/2 games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs in the race for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
“You’ve gotta worry when you come out of a trip like we just had,” Denver Coach Doug Moe said. “People just don’t realize how draining a trip like that really is. It’s so draining that the league doesn’t allow you to play a game at home the day after a five-day trip . . . except for us.”
Said Lever: “We’re coming off an excellent road trip, but if we don’t win these games at home it makes our road trip worthless.”