THE FACTS: The Nets rode stellar second-half defense, good ball movement that fed Brook Lopez's dunk-happy renaissance, Reggie Evans' 12 rebounds in 22 minutes, and efficient work from Joe Johnson (19 points) to their signature win of this young season, downing the Clippers 86-76. Lopez led all scorers with 26 points. For the Clippers, the dynamic troika of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford was held in check, combining for 41 points. Paul fouled out, committing all six of his fouls in the fourth quarter.
QUOTABLE: "My guys are giving me good looks around the basket where I can take one dribble and go up and dunk it. I am getting a lot of easy looks thanks to them."
THE STAT: For all the pregame clamoring about pace, the Nets still failed to register a fast break point -- the Clippers had 17 -- yet the Nets still won the game.
TURNING POINT: With the game in the balance, Lopez took matters into his own hands with a pair of maneuvers to put the Nets up 79-74. A Joe Johnson corner 3 put the Nets up eight and sealed the outcome.
QUOTABLE II: "That was crazy, huh? I have not been called for that many fouls unless it was a video game. It was six fouls in five minutes, wasn't it? I did not think I had any fouls. The last two fouls were clear fouls but that wasn't good officiating."
INSIDE THE ARENA: Comedians Ray Romano and Billy Crystal (a huge Clippers fan) attended the game, along with Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Beyonce's former Destiny's Child band mate Kelly Rowland. ... A surprising amount of Clipper red dotted the arena. ... With the Nets struggling on the glass, the crowd chanted: "Reg-gie Ev-ans! Reg-gie Ev-ans!" Shortly thereafter, Evans checked in.
ROOKIE WATCH: No rookie played.
NOTABLE: Deron Williams (11 points, eight assists) went up for a powerful one-handed dunk late in the first quarter, but was met by Griffin who made a thrilling rejection. ... Andray Blatche attempted two fancy behind-the-back moves in the second quarter, both times with a negative result; the first came on the fast break, the second a pass to Kris Humphries down low. ... Playing through pain, Williams improved to 14-4 against Paul.
UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Saturday @ Atlanta, Monday vs. New Orleans, Wednesday vs. Minnesota. For the Nets, Sunday vs. Portland, Monday vs. New York, Wednesday @ Boston.