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Surging Nuggets try to end struggles against Clippers

Nov 26, 2006 - 3:11 PM LA Clippers (6-5) at Denver (7-4) 8:00 pm EST

DENVER (Ticker) -- The Denver Nuggets attempt to extend their winning streak to five games when they host the slumping Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

However, the Nuggets have dropped four straight to the Clippers - the final three games of their 2005-06 playoff series and a November 2 matchup.

In the last encounter, Denver squandered a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, but appeared to escape with a victory when J.R. Smith made a steal from Sam Cassell, who was trying to bait the referee into a foul call, and converted a dunk with 18 seconds to go.

But, Cassell redeemed himself by sinking two free throws on the ensuing possession. Earl Boykins shot an airball from the foul line as time expired.

Carmelo Anthony was not available at the close of the contest due to an ejection in the third quarter. He tossed his headband in the direction of the referee while going to the bench after picking up a foul.

The Nuggets seem ready to bring some balance to this series especially after posting a 140-129 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday. Smith netted 31 points and Anthony poured in 30 for Denver, which shot 55 percent (52-of-94) from the floor.

Boykins collected 17 points and 10 assists and Marcus Camby added 13, 10 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocks for the Nuggets, who forced 26 turnovers.

Los Angeles endured its third straight setback with a 104-96 loss to Minnesota on Saturday. Cassell had 31 points and eight assists and Elton Brand finished with 21 and 10 boards for the Clippers, who were outscored, 35-15, in the closing quarter.

The Clippers are 0-1 on their current three-game trek and 0-4 overall on the road this season.

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