Clippers confident Patrick Beverley will return vs. Nuggets

LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he's fairly certain point guard Patrick Beverley will be back for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.

"You'll see him for sure," Rivers said Wednesday when asked if Beverley will play at some point during the best-of-7 series. "I'm pretty sure tomorrow [for Game 1], but I can't guarantee that.

"But he looked pretty good [in practice]."

Beverley has missed five consecutive games -- and 10 of the past 11 -- with a left calf strain. He suffered the injury against Phoenix on Aug. 4.

Landry Shametstarted at point guard for the Clippers in the last four games against the Dallas Mavericks. Shamet has averaged 11.5 points and has made 11 of his 22 3-pointers as a starter.

The Clippers need Beverley's defense, as Denver's Jamal Murray is averaging 31.6 points, 6.3 assists and 5.6 rebounds and is shooting 53.3% from behind the arc.

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