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Clippers go cold in Las Vegas, lose to Nuggets

The Clippers cut a 17-point deficit to just three but never led in an 80-75 Summer League loss to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

With the loss, the Clippers fell to 1-2 at the NBA’s annual summertime showcase, where burgeoning talent tries to break through.

The young Clippers struggled from the field Wednesday, shooting 38.4% (28 for 73) from the field and 32.4% (11 for 34) from 3-point range. They also hurt themselves with 15 turnovers in 40 minutes.

Playing the for the second consecutive night after Tuesday’s loss to the Lakers, the Clippers fell behind 41-24 midway through the second quarter. Although they outscored the Nuggets 44-37 in the second half and even trimmed Denver’s advantage to 45-42 on a Cameron Reynolds 3-pointer with 6:07 to play in the third quarter, they found themselves down 10 points again 1:14 later following three 3s from Denver and never got closer than five points after that.

Led by Matt Mitchell’s 17 points, the Nuggets improved to 2-1 in Summer League.

Third-year guard Jay Scrubb led the Clippers with 18 points on 4-for-11 shooting. He went 9 for 9 at the free-throw line and added seven rebounds as well as five turnovers.

Brandon Boston Jr. and Jason Preston – the Clippers’ two NBA rostered players participating Wednesday – finished with 17 points between them, all coming in the second half. Boston shot 3 for 15 Wednesday and was called for seven fouls, but he also grabbed seven rebounds. Preston shot 3 for 8 and had six assists.

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