Nuggets stun Clippers 111-105 in Game 5 to take 3-2 lead

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Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap (4) and LA Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. (31) battle for a loose ball during the first half of game five in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
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Denver Nuggets forward Jerami Grant (right) blocks a shot by LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) as Denver center Nikola Jokic (15) assists during game five in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
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Updated 12 September 2020

Nuggets stun Clippers 111-105 in Game 5 to take 3-2 lead

  • The Clippers are searching for the franchise’s first appearance in a conference finals
  • The Nuggets came back from a 3-1 deficit to win their first-round series against Utah

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: Paul Millsap scored 14 of his 17 points in the third quarter, Michael Porter Jr. made a late 3-pointer and the Denver Nuggets overcame a 15-point, second-half deficit to stun the Los Angeles Clippers 111-105 on Friday night in Game 5.
Denver — down 16 in the first half — trailed 61-46 with 9:42 remaining in the third before rallying behind the 35-year-old Millsap.
The Nuggets took their first lead on Nikola Jokic’s 3-pointer with 7:06 left and extended it to eight. After the Clippers pulled within a basket, Porter hit a deep 3-pointer with 1:11 remaining to all but wrap it up.
Jamal Murray finished with 26 points, and Jokic added 22 points and 14 rebounds to help the Nuggets pull to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. Game 6 is Sunday.
This marked Denver’s fourth elimination-game win of this postseason, the team’s most since capturing six win-or-go-home games during the 1994 playoff run. The Nuggets came back from a 3-1 deficit to win their first-round series against Utah.
Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points and Paul George added 26 for the Clippers, who are searching for the franchise’s first appearance in a conference finals. They’re 0-6 in games where they could clinch a trip to the conference finals.
Millsap and Marcus Morris jawed at each other face-to-face late in the first half and had to be separated. Morris was given a technical foul.

TIP-INS
Nuggets: Gary Harris fouled out with 1:58 remaining. He had seven points.
Clippers: G Patrick Beverley finished with 10 points. ... Morris added 12 points.

9/11 MEMORIES
Clippers coach Doc Rivers and Nuggets coach Michael Malone reflected on their memories on the 19th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
Rivers had just returned home in Orlando after a trip to Australia when he awoke to the news that began to hit. Nearly 3,000 people were killed as Al-Qaeda hijackers took control of four planes, sending two of the planes into New York’s World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and the fourth into a field in Pennsylvania.
“Just like every American that day, we were in awe. We were saddened and we just needed answers,” Rivers said. “It was a sad day for our country.”
Malone was working in New York under coach Jeff Van Gundy and was at team’s practice facility. He remembered an equipment manager telling them to turn on the television.
“It was surreal. You felt so vulnerable,” Malone said. “I reflected on that today with it being 19 years ago and the tragic memories that you have.”

HEART-TO-HEART
Malone said he spoke with Porter about publicly expressing his frustrations over his role like the rookie did after Game 4.
“During the playoffs, the last thing you want is any type of distraction,” Malone said. “If those frustrations are there for Michael, for anybody, it’s much better to keep those conversations internal, in the locker room and among ourselves.”


Beijing Guaon pounce on rusty Melbourne in 3-1 victory

Updated 25 November 2020

Beijing Guaon pounce on rusty Melbourne in 3-1 victory

  • The Chinese side have one foot in the last-16 of the Asian Champions League

DOHA: Beijing Guoan have one foot in the last-16 of the Asian Champions League after a convincing 3-1 win against a rusty Melbourne Victory side on Tuesday extended their perfect record in Group E to three from three.

Another Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua also improved their chances of qualification from Group F with their second win in three matches, edging past FC Tokyo 1-0, courtesy of a late penalty.

But it was Bruno Genesio’s Beijing outfit who sent out a strong warning to their rivals in the tournament by following up on their win over FC Seoul last week with another impressive performance in Doha where the tournament’s eastern zone matches are being played after a nine-month break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Beijing clearly looked a class above Melbourne Victory who were largely lackluster both in attack and defense, with even the Australian side’s consolation goal late in the second half coming through a huge deflection from Kim Min-Jae after substitute Gianluca Ianucci’s powerful shot from nearly 25 yards appeared heading straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.

Beijing allowed their Australian rivals only 40 percent ball possession and that worked hugely in their favor as they created chances galore at the Al-Sadd Sports Club.

But once again, it was their Brazilian presence which played a pivotal role, with Renato Augusto and A Lan on target in the 22nd and 34th minutes before Wang Zimin’s brilliant goal in the 74th minute to put the match out of Victory’s reach.

Frenchman Genesio, who has been in charge at Beijing Guoan for almost 16 months, was not in a very celebratory mood despite his team’s 100 percent win record so far.

“In the first half we played really well as we tried high pressing as we trained before the game and were successful in keeping control,” said Genesio.

“The only thing I am disappointed about is that we conceded one goal towards the end. We need to be more serious and cautious towards the end of the game.”

Melbourne Victory, for whom this was their second defeat in three matches — their only win came in February against Chiangrai United — are now third in the standings and would need a herculean comeback to qualify for the knockout phase.

“For us, It’s not the result we wanted,” said Victory’s Steve Kean, whose side had no match practice for several months before heading to Doha. “This was our very first match of any type, we did not even play any friendlies and came against a Beijing side that have played a full season.

2We wanted to win and take points but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves.”

Meanwhile, Shanghai Shenhua were celebrating their success over Tokyo FC after Yu Hanchao’s successful penalty in the 74th minute proved the decisive moment in the match.

“FC Tokyo is a great team but today we really wanted to limit their opportunities,” said Shenhua coach Choi Kang-hee.

“Our players really overcame their difficulties of fitness and fatigue. They persisted from the first minute until the end and I thank them for that.

“They showed great mental power and spirit and I believe they will get better from here,” he added.

Tokyo FC’s Kenta Hasegawa was clearly upset, although he was not losing hope yet despite his team being in third place in the standings with four points from three matches

“The result is disappointing. This was the first game in the AFC Champions League for many of our young players,” Hasegawa said.

“They were not ready for this game, but I am sure the will be ready for the next.”