The Clippers (25-7), who went 16-0 in December to join the 1995-96 San Antonio Spurs and 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers as the only teams to go a calendar month undefeated, stumbled into the new year absorbing their most lopsided loss of the season.
It was the Clippers' first defeat since Nov. 26.
The winning run was the longest in the NBA since 2009 when the Boston Celtics strung together 19.
"What did we accomplish is cool but they didn't care about that tonight," Clippers guard Chris Paul told reporters. "We're just upset about the loss, we didn't care about the streak."
Danilo Gallinari led Denver with 17 points while Kenneth Faried contributed 14 and 11 rebounds. Andre Miller chipped in with 12 points and 12 assists as the Nuggets improved their home record to 10-1.
LA's Blake Griffin scored 12 points and pulled in nine rebounds but Paul (10) and DeAndre Jordan (11) were the only other Los Angeles starters to score in double figures.
Leading by two after the first quarter, the Nuggets went on a 7-0 run to open the second and led the sluggish Clippers 48-43 at the half.
Denver continued to pull away after the break, outscoring Los Angeles 27-16 in the third quarter to open up a 16-point cushion then eased to a comfortable win.
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