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Danilo Gallinari hoping for love, not boos from Nuggets crowd upon 1st return to Denver

L.A. Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari is hoping for a pleasant reception at the Mile High City as he approaches his first return to Denver since parting ways with the Nuggets in free agency. Gallinari explained that his top choice was to return to Denver but the chain of events forced his hand to a different direction.

“My first choice was of course Denver,” said Gallinari. “But we didn’t find the right situation for me and the team. So I had to take another route.”

Gallo is undoubtedly having the best season of his 10-year career in the league after an injury-riddled first season with the Clippers and five-plus seasons with the Nuggets, hoping those at the Pepsi Center have more fond memories than sour spirits for his departure as a free agent in 2017.

“If it’s an ovation or boos, I don’t know… whatever the fans have for me, hopefully it will be love,” he said. “Hopefully they have good memories of me.”

The Italian marksman is shooting a career-best 45.9 percent with his new team, as well as a blistering 44.7 percent from deep, surpassing the already hefty mark he set in his rookie season with the New York Knicks of 44.4 percent.

The 30-year-old combo forward is scoring 19.5 points per game and rebounding at a career-high 6.2 boards per game while nailing his foul shots at a 91.9 percent rate, his third straight season making at least 90.0 percent of his free-throw attempts.