Denver — During an undefeated five-week run by the Los Angeles Clippers, the Denver Nuggets were just another team they beat along the way.
The second time around, the Nuggets were the team that ground the Clippers’ streak to a halt.
Danilo Gallinari led six Nuggets players in double figures with 17 points and Denver stopped the Clippers’ franchise- record winning streak at 17 games with a 92-78 victory Tuesday night.
The Clippers’ streak was the longest in the NBA since the Boston Celtics won 19 in a row from Nov. 15-Dec. 23, 2008.
“We were all a step slower today,” said Blake Griffin, who had 12 points for the Clippers. “We’ve got to be better than that. We’re not going to sit and cry on the plane and get beat down. We’re not going to cause ourselves to lose our confidence, despite what people want us to do. That’s the best thing about the NBA — you’ve got another game.”
Griffin went 4 of 11 from the field — the first time he’s shot below 50 percent in 18 games.
Andre Iguodala said the victory against the NBA’s hottest team could help Denver build “our confidence, our swagger.
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.
The Clippers, whose point total was two above their season-low, were hurt by poor shooting from 3-point range (5 of 29, 17.2 percent) and the free throw line (13 of 29, 44.8 percent).
Eric Bledsoe also had 12 points, DeAndre Jordan had 11 and Chris Paul 10 for the Clippers.
Andre Miller, starting in place of point guard Ty Lawson, had 12 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets.
Lawson, the team said, has been bothered by tightness in his left Achilles’ tendon for the past week, forcing him to miss a game for the first time this season.
Blazers beat Knicks
In New York, Amare Stoudemire stood up from the bench and the fans rose with him, a booming ovation filling Madison Square Garden as Stoudemire walked to the scorer’s table to enter a game for the first time this season.
The cheers turned to boos just a few minutes later when the Knicks couldn’t stop the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Trail Blazers overcame Carmelo Anthony’s season high-tying 45 points and spoiled Stoudemire’s season debut, beating New York 105-100.
Stoudemire finished with six points on 3-of-8 shooting and one rebound in 17 minutes off the bench in his return from knee surgery. He said he nearly shed a tear with the loud appreciation the fans showed him when he checked in, but he couldn’t give them anything to keep the cheers going in the first half. /ap