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    August 10, 2018 4:28 PM HKT
    After four games with their defense leading the way Tony Wolters Colorado Rockies Jersey , the Denver Nuggets turned to their offense Saturday and regained control of their playoff destiny.

    The Nuggets made 10 of their first 12 shots and they ran off to a 134-115 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

    They will reach the postseason if they win their last two games.

    ”At this time of the year, it’s all about finding a way to get wins,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said.

    ”We’re playing `Get-It-Done’ basketball. We’re getting it done. Going into tonight, we’d been playing good defense. We controlled the game, won all four quarters, another big step in the right direction.”

    Will Barton scored 31 points and Nikola Jokic added 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the Nuggets posted their fifth straight win to pull into a tie with the Minnesota Timberwolves for eighth place in the Western Conference with two games to play. Both teams are 45-35.

    The Nuggets finish the regular season at home against Portland on Monday night.

    ”I think overall – offensively, defensively, controlling our turnovers, I think we’re playing overall our best basketball,” Paul Millsap said. ”Not our best offense we’ve played all year, not necessarily our best defense, but to be a good team you have to have balance.”

    It all sets up for the Nuggets’ season-ending game against the Timberwolves in Minneapolis on Wednesday night. Minnesota http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ryan-switzer-jersey , which holds the tiebreaker over the Nuggets, hosts Memphis on Monday night.

    ”Our guys have really taken that to heart,” Malone said. ”There’s a belief in that locker room, a lot of positivity. I think we’re all in, 100 percent, believing in each other.”

    Meanwhile, the injury-riddled Clippers were eliminated from the playoff race. The Clippers suffered their fourth loss in five games, falling to 42-38, 2 1/2 games out of eighth place with two to play. The elimination ends a run of six consecutive postseason appearances for the Clippers, who previously missed the playoffs in 2010-11.

    ”I don’t think I have been more proud of a group, maybe ever, than I have been of this group,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers Cheap Sam Darnold Jersey , who has been forced by injuries to field 35 starting lineups. ”We have asked a lot of guys to do a lot of stuff they should not have had to do and yet they did it.”

    On Saturday, the Clippers simply could not keep up with the Nuggets as they had 36 assists on 53 field goals.

    ”The stat that jumps out at me was the fact that we had 36 assists, and eight turnovers,” Malone said. ”We actually had more assists than rebounds. I’ve never seen that before.”

    Jamal Murray added 19 points and Wilson Chandler 13 for the Nuggets, who shot their second-best shooting percent (62.4) of the season.

    ”When the ball is moving around like it was tonight, and you’re able to shoot 62 percent, guys definitely made shots, but we passed up good shots to get great shots,” Malone said. ”The offense was obviously firing on all cylinders tonight.”

    Lou Williams scored 24 points to lead the Clippers. DeAndre Jordan added 16 points and 17 rebounds, with Tyrone Wallace added 18 points and Tobias Harris had 16 for Los Angeles.

    Leading 81-71, Barton hit a 3-pointer after the Nuggets grabbed a pair of offensive rebounds to ignite a 12-3 run that finished with Harris making the score 93-74 with 3:09 to play.

    The Clippers never got closer than 12 points after that.

    The victory was Denver’s first this season over the Clippers, who won the first two meetings, 109-104 at Staples Center on Jan. 17 John Franklin-Myers Color Rush Jersey , and 122-120 in Denver on Feb. 27.

    TIP-INS

    Nuggets: Opened the game making 10 of 12 shots for a 21-13 lead with 4:41 left in the first quarter, finishing the quarter 15 of 21 for a 33-26 advantage.

    Clippers: Lou Williams, the team’s leading scorer, was 0 for 7 in the first half, scoring eight points on free throws. His first basket, a 3-pointer, came with 7:04 left in the third with the Clippers down 80-66.

    WEARY CLIPS

    After the Clippers were badly beaten 117-95 by the Jazz in Utah on Thursday night, Doc Rivers gave his team the day off before playing the Nuggets.

    ”Watched film, watched the Masters, went out and played nine,” Rivers said. ”What can you do? We don’t have enough bodies in practice. You’ve got to get your mind ready.”

    UP NEXT

    Nuggets: Host the Portland Trailblazers on Monday night.

    Clippers: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.

    A fist pump and a late fastball on the cusp of 100 mph was all the indication needed to know just how good German Marquez felt Saturday.

    He pitched two-hit ball over eight innings and Ian Desmond homered as the Colorado Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1.

    Marquez (6-8) retired his first 15 batters before Enrique Hernandez connected for a home run off the left-field foul pole leading off the sixth. After a Chase Utley single, Marquez dispatched the Dodgers on three fly balls to end the inning and pumped his right fist to emphasize the moment.

    ”Isn’t that great? I loved that” Rockies manager Bud Black said of the fist pump. ”He uses (his energy) with his fastball. I want him to use it with his fastball but not overthrow. There is a time you can stand on a pitch and lean on it and I think he does that.”

    He appeared to do just that with his fastball in the eighth inning. Facing Hernandez two innings after the home run, Marquez struck out the Dodgers’ utility man on a 99.9 mph fastball.

    ”No doubt I let it rip on that one Paul Worrilow Color Rush Jersey ,” Marquez said through an interpreter. ”But I worked hard in my preparation in between starts and my goal is to maintain my stamina deep into games. I think today I was able to accomplish that.”

    Marquez struck out nine and walked none after entering with a 5.53 ERA, third-worst among qualified National League starters.

    The Rockies closed out June with three consecutive victories and two consecutive over the Dodgers after getting swept by Los Angeles in a three-game series at Coors Field to begin the month. Colorado finished June with an 11-16 record.

    Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda (5-5) gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits over seven innings and lost for the first time in four June starts. He had a short stint on the disabled list during the month due to a right hip strain. He struck out nine for the second consecutive start.

    ”It was a good outing,” Maeda said through an interpreter. ”My desire is to be able to pitch deeper into the game and being able to pitch seven innings and is a good thing. But unfortunately, we didn’t get the win and that was something we wanted.”

    The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when DJ LeMahieu scored from third base on a passed ball by catcher Yasmani Grandal. Nolan Arenado struck out, but advanced to first with LeMahieu scoring when the ball got through Grandal.

    Desmond went deep in the fifth for a 2-0 lead. It was his 17th home run of the season and career-best 13th on the road.

    Trevor Story doubled for the Rockies in the seventh and scored on Chris Iannetta’s single to make it 3-1.

    After a strong start to the month, the Dodgers finished June with a 17-9 record, losing four of their last five games.

    CLOSER FOR THE DAY

    Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino pitched the ninth Saturday for his second save. Closer Wade Davis, who earned the save after Tyler Anderson’s eight-inning outing Friday, was given the night off.

    ”He pitched great and he deserved to win,” Ottavino said of Marquez. ”That’s two games straight that we got eight innings out of our starters so we appreciate that down in the bullpen. I think everybody does on the team so I think that was just an awesome job by (Marquez).”

    Davis is expected to return to the closer role Sunday.

    DODGERS DRIVE 55

    Hernandez’s home run gave the Dodgers 55 in the month of June, to increase their franchise record for a month. The previous record of 53 was set in June of last season.

    His home run was his 14th of the season and third this week. Max Muncy and Joc Pederson each finished with 10 home runs in June. Pederson has 11 on the season.

    ”I worked really hard in the off season to get stronger and get in better shape http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dorance-armstrong-jr.-jersey ,” said Hernandez, whose previous best was 11 home runs last season. ”Last year I hit a lot of doubles and this year those doubles are turning into homers. Hopefully we can keep swinging the bats in July the way we are in June.”

    TRAINER’S ROOM

    Rockies: OF David Dahl (broken right foot) is out of a walking boot and will join the team Monday in Colorado to continue his rehab.

    Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (right rib microfracture), who made one appearance this week after returning from the DL, will likely need two starts at Class A Rancho Cucamonga before he returns to the Dodgers, according to manager Dave Roberts. … RHP Pedro Baez (right biceps tendinitis) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session, but no timetable for his return has been revealed.

    UP NEXT

    Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis (5-1, 5.07 ERA) will be back on the road where he excels, as his five road victories were tied for third in the National League at the start of play Saturday. Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling (6-2, 1.98) has a loss and a no-decision in his past two starts following a six-start win streak.

    .