Five Takeaways: Clippers Drop Wild 2OT Finish In Brooklyn, 127-122
BROOKLYN – Chris Paul posted a triple-double, DeAndre Jordan recorded his first 20-20 game of the year and the Clippers (14-5) held at one point an 18-point lead, but it wasn’t enough Tuesday night, even after a game-tying 3-pointer to send the game to overtime and another game-tying 3-pointer to send the game to double overtime in a wild, wacky 127-122 loss.
Here are five quick takeaways, as the Clippers’ lone losing streak of the year stretched to three in a crazy finish against the Nets (5-12).
1) Fourth-quarter flub – Sean Kilpatrick, starting at point guard for the Nets, had just seven points on 3-for-14 shooting entering the fourth quarter, when he exploded for 20 points in the fourth, as the Clippers’ 13-point lead entering the quarter evaporated. But Chris Paul, who finished with 26 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, made sure the Clippers weren’t done yet after Brooklyn took a 107-104 lead with 1:10 left off one of Brook Lopez’s four 3-pointers on the night. Paul forced Kilpatrick into an offensive foul, pulled down an offensive rebound after a missed Clippers 3-pointer at the other end, and when the next 3-pointer didn’t go down, either, eventually sent the game to overtime on a corner 3-pointer with a second left in regulation. By night's end, Kilpatrick, who entered the fourth quarter with just seven points, finished with 38.
2) Chaotic OT somehow goes to 2OT– If a first four quarters that included Paul pretending to give Paul Pierce CPR after a missed dunk and foul, a DeAndre Jordan 3-point attempt, an Austin Rivers 9-0 run by himself in less than a minute and a double-digit fourth-quarter comeback by the Nets weren’t wacky enough, the end of the first overtime topped it all. Trailing by a point, Jordan made one of two free throws, when chaos ensued at the other end. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was whistled for a technical foul. Irate about the call, he was then held back and ejected. Brooklyn already had two free throws coming, then another two off the technical. But the Nets only hit one of their four free throws, giving the Clippers a chance to tie, and Paul found Jamal Crawford for the game-tying 3-pointer to send the game to double overtime.
3) Ran out of gas – Chris Paul hadn’t played more than 36 minutes in a game this year. Jordan hadn’t played more than 37 minutes in a game this year. They both ended up filling the stat sheet, the former with his first triple-double of the year, the latter with his first 20-20 game of the year, posting 23 points and 21 rebounds. They both ended up playing 45 minutes, and after giving up the fourth-quarter lead, then playing from behind in the first overtime, then playing from behind in the second overtime, the Clippers just didn’t have enough juice left. Doc Rivers and most of the Clippers’ players all mentioned in some form or fashion they disrespected the game late and got too cool after jumping out to their lead. “I thought we lost our respect for the game,” Doc Rivers said. “I thought we lost our humility.”
4) “The basketball gods will punish you” – While Doc Rivers wasn’t on the floor for the second overtime and wasn’t pleased with how they surrendered the lead in regulation, he was pleased with how the Clippers fought to keep the game alive and send it to a second overtime. But both Rivers and Paul mentioned, given how they let Brooklyn back in and coasted too much in the fourth, the “basketball gods” eventually got back at them. “Right when you lose your respect, you still can win sometimes because you get lucky or you’re just better, but sometimes the basketball gods will punish you,” Rivers said. “I thought that’s what happened for us.”
5) Griffin rest night – Not having Blake Griffin down the stretch made life even tougher for the Clippers as it got tight late. For the first time this year, the Clippers featured a new starting lineup, giving Griffin the night off to rest and putting Paul Pierce in the starting lineup place. Pierce had only played in two of the Clippers’ 18 games entering Tuesday night, but the 39-year-old forward playing in his final season said he just has to do his best to stay ready. Pierce finished with five points and three rebounds in a season-high 29 minutes. Griffin’s expected back for the Clippers’ next game.
What’s Next? – The Clippers play Thursday in Cleveland on the first game of a back-to-back.