The Nuggets-Clippers contest, last of the NBA's five Christmas Day games, went down just like the previous four - a one-sided affair that ended with a double-digit margin of victory.
The 121-108 victory meant that Los Angeles start their 2020-21 season unbeaten with a 2-0 record while the Nuggets slump to 0-2.
Here are the biggest talking points after this one:
Kawhi Leonard update
With about 6:07 left in the game, Kawhi Leonard left the game after receiving an accidental elbow from teammate Serge Ibaka while vying for a rebound.
Kawhi Leonard leaves the game after taking an accidental elbow to the face- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 26, 2020
Prayers up 🙏 pic.twitter.com/kipMkhjqA1
Before leaving the court on his feet, he was lying on the floor for quite some time - requiring treatment to stop the bleeding.
Up until then, the Klaw was stuffing the stat sheet and making his impact known all across the board with 21 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and four steals on 8-of-14 shooting from the field.
Postgame, ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk reported that Leonard required eight stitches to tend to a mouth laceration.
"He got up and walked off the floor, so he's gonna be good," Clippers head coach Ty Lue said postgame. However, at the time of making that statement, he did clarify that Leonard was still being evaluated.
Stay tuned to NBA.com for the latest updates on Leonard.
Clippers offense has field day
After defeating the Lakers in their season opener, the Clippers built on that momentum with a solid offensive display in this game.
En route to their 121 points, Los Angeles assisted on 32 of their 41 field goals, which they made at an efficiency of 55.4% from the field. They also knocked down 19 3-pointers in 38 attempts.
Those shooting percentages allowed the Clippers to more or less cruise to victory despite committing 21 turnovers.
Paul George was the team's top scorer with 23 points (8-14 FGs; 5-9 3Ps), 10 of which came in a red-hot first quarter. He also dished out nine assists, pulled down five rebounds and was a game-high +14 in his 37 minutes on the court.
PG stays hot in LAC win!@Yg_Trece's 23 PTS (5 3PM), 9 AST propels the @LAClippers to an #NBAXmas victory! #KiaTipOff20 pic.twitter.com/QfsOCF95Sd- NBA (@NBA) December 26, 2020
As many as five players finished in double figures while the trio of Patrick Beverley (9), Lou Williams (8), and Luke Kennard (8) combined for 25 points.
Mike Malone unhappy with team effort
"You can't play three quarters in this league and expect to win," Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said postgame. "We had some guys that looked like they were barely breaking a sweat."
Surely, nobody expected the Conference Finalists to begin by losing their first two games, let alone on claims of no effort.
Michael Malone: "That shouldn't be something that, we have to wait and see are we going to play hard tonight? That should be a given."- Mike Singer (@msinger) December 26, 2020
Said third quarter against Sacramento was a joke. Called second quarter tonight the same thing.
Coming off a 24-point, 15-rebound, 14-assist game, Nikola Jokic was back to doing it all for the Nuggets. In this one, he nearly finished with yet another triple-double with 24 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds.
But other than him, nobody really had it going for the Nuggets.
Jamal Murray had 23 on 9-of-20 shooting, Paul Millsap (8), PJ Dozier (7), Gary Harris (2), and Michael Porter Jr. (10) combined for 27 points on 11-of- 24 shooting from the field.
The Nuggets have a couple of days to bounce back from this 0-2 start when they host the Houston Rockets while the Clippers carry their unbeaten record, possibly without Kawhi Leonard, back to Los Angeles for a 3-game homestand beginning with the Dallas Mavericks in a couple of days.
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