Clippers Relentlessly Mocked After Game 7 Collapse Against Denver

The eagerly-awaited prospect of a "Battle for Los Angeles" in the Western Conference Finals went up in smoke on Tuesday night after the Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 104-89 in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals to progress to their first conference final in 11 years.

The defeat means the Clippers are now 0-8 when presented with a chance of reaching the Conference Finals and they did more than anyone to extend their playoffs curse after squandering a 3-1 lead.

In Game 6, the Clippers threw away a 16-point advantage at halftime and were outscored 64-35 in the second half as the Nuggets forced the series to a decider.

The same scenario unfolded on Tuesday night, with Denver outscoring the Clippers 50-33 in the second half to wipe out a two-point deficit, with L.A.'s star duo Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combining for a dreadful 2-of-18 shooting.

The NBA world wasn't exactly magnanimous when it came to the Clippers' demise with many more than happy to remind L.A. of its dismal record in Game 7.

The Clippers choked again," tweeted former Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson.

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"They choked against Houston in 2015 and they choked tonight against the Denver Nuggets."

In a follow-up tweet, Magic stoked the rivalry between the two L.A. franchises, claiming the "Lakers will always own L.A. It will never change."

Boasting one of the most talented rosters in the league, the Clippers entered the season as one of the favorites for the NBA title but their loss in Game 7 highlighted some fundamental issues, according to former Nuggets head coach George Karl.

"The Clippers have died as a team right in front of us. Team beats talent every time."

Memphis Grizzlies guard and NBA Rookie of the Year Ja Morant limited himself to a set of laughing emojis, while ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins blamed the loss on George and Leonard going missing when it mattered.

"Playoff P did what he always do in Closeout Games...Kawhi Leonard Perkins was Horrible!!! I told y'all Clippers was all BARK and NO BITE!!! Carry on..."

Few if any players enjoyed the Clippers' demise as much as Portland Trail Blazers duo Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, who had plenty to say about L.A.'s Game 7 defeat after being on the receiving end of some verbal digs themselves last month.

When the Trail Blazers played the Clippers in the seeding games, Lillard missed two late free throws with Portland down by a point to seal L.A.'s win and was subsequently mocked by Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, who wasn't even in the game.

The duo continued to exchange verbal volleys on social media, where Lillard pointed out he had previously eliminated both Beverley and George from playoff contentions before, to which Beverley issued a tongue-in-cheek reply suggesting the Blazers would soon be on holiday in Mexico.

While Portland was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the joke eventually came back to haunt Beverley on Tuesday night when Lillard and McCollum invited the Clippers to join the Blazers on the beach.

McCollum also wondered whether the Clippers had packed their bags before Game 7, before delivering a not-so-subtle reminder the Clippers were among the teams that had initially voted to cancel the season last month.

All of a sudden, the prospect of the Blazers and the Clippers crossing paths in the playoffs next season is mouthwatering. Particularly if the series should go all the way to Game 7.

Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
Kawhi Leonard #2 and Lou Williams #23 of the Clippers during the loss against the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 15 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty
Clippers Relentlessly Mocked After Game 7 Collapse Against Denver | Sports