Clippers face Nuggets hoping to have righted their ship

With some much-needed wind in their sails, the Clippers will meet the Western Conference’s first-place squad on Thursday in Denver – which is, former Nugget Danilo Gallinari pointed out, “the second city for sunny days.”

“We lost those two games in a row (to San Antonio and Philadelphia), and I told our team we were about to turn the corner,” Coach Doc Rivers said.

After going 6-9 last month, the Clippers lost to Philadelphia on Jan. 1 before winning their past three games, including a satisfying outing Tuesday.

And, through improving communication, some well-timed trapping and a fresh focus on slowing transition attacks, the Clippers’ defense also has toughened up.

That includes sparring Thursday with Nikola Jokic, who coordinates the Nuggets’ attack from the post and leads them in points (19.2), rebounds (10.1) and assists (7.5).

The other players on that list: Lonzo Ball; Markel Brown; Vince Carter (three times); Jamaal Tinsley; Jerry Stackhouse (twice); Dave Henderson and Ron Harper.

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