Ben Couch · BROOKLYNETS.COM
By Ben Couch
LOS ANGELES—Saturday at Staples Center, the Clippers took control of the fourth quarter and beat the Nets, 101-95. With four games to play on a seven-game, 13-day trip, Brooklyn is 2-1 and heading to Phoenix to complete a back-to-back set.
Deron Williams and Brook Lopez each scored 18 points, while Gerald Wallace and Joe Johnson each added 15. Reggie Evans pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds.
- 11:30 – Chris Paul pulls up for a clean swish in a transition pick and roll. The game changes when he starts looking to score. Will be interesting to see if this becomes a PG duel between him and Deron down the stretch.
- 10:07 – Great ball movement by the Nets as most everyone gets a hand on whipping it around the perimeter to set up C.J. Watson's corner three.
- 8:02 – Despite the Nets doing an excellent job of getting back in transition once again, this time with Deron breaking up an over-the-top transition pass to Eric Bledsoe, the Clippers take their first lead in a while when Bledsoe recovers to drop in a layup while being fouled.
- 5:15 – One impressive off-ball aspect of Deron Williams' game is his ability to screen and also fight through them on defense. He basically locked up the screener on a pick and roll with Blake, allowing Reggie Evans to recover and successfully contest Griffin's jumper.
- 3:23 – D-Will with the clean pullup and then a nifty dish to Lopez underneath on the following possession. Brook had sealed so deep, the two was almost automatic.
- 0:51 – A one-handed pass by Deron, intended for Gerald Wallace, is picked off by Jamal Crawford, who jumped the passing lane in full stride. Crawford finishes at the other end with a two-handed jam that puts the Clippers up four in the final minute.
- 0:42 – Aaaand ... Joe Johnson hits a runner. Of course he does.
- 0:22 – Chris Paul uses a double-crossover to split Deron and Reggie Evans before dropping a floater while being fouled. That sound was a crowd exploding. Whoa.
- 0:19 – Joe Johnson's catch-and-shoot three hits back rim, and the Nets foul CP3 heading the other way. His pair of free throws put the Clippers up six. Fans thinking about beating traffic make their move.
0:11 – Perhaps too early? Deron hits a three ...
Nope. Both free throws are good. So close.
- 9:22 – Gerald Wallace hits his second three of the second half. His scoring seems to have been coming in bunches of late.
- 8:44 – Looks like Joe hurt his foot on that last drives. Wonder if it's related to that nagging sore left heel. Checks out for Keith Bogans.
- 7:55 – At today's shotaround, Brook Lopez said attempting to block shots was part of his job, and he would just need to do that tonight. Well, he did it. AND HOW. Blake Griffin is probably thinking twice before the next one.
- 4:05 – Tie game after a three by almost-Net Caron Butler. Clippers are up to 8-for-18 from long-range.
- 2:08 – A third three by Gerald Wallace, and he's got 12 points in the period. He, and the Nets only committing a single turnover since halftime, are a large reason they remain ahead.
The Clippers were hitting open shots early and often, but the Nets kept them out of transition, and ground the lead down to one by the end of the first. Brooklyn took the lead with a 13-4 burst to open the second and several times beat back Clipper attempts to regain the lead.
Deron Williams and Chris Paul are playing full-bore in their 23rd head-to-head matchup: Williams has 11 points (4-6 FGs) and three asissts, while Paul's produced six points and 8 assists (nearly half the Clippers' 18 field goals). Also of note: Kris Humphries returned to the rotation, playing 6 1/2 minutes of impressive, dirty-work basketball. He likely earned another look in the second half.
- 10:01 – Humphries, after playing strong post defense on Lamar Odom (not going there), gets anoffensive board and dishes out to C.J. Watson for an open jumper. He's playing very productive, though not statistically relevant minues.
- 8:51 – A corner three from (surprise!) Keith Bogans and the Clippers call timeout. That'll happen when the other team's on a 10-4 run to open the quarter. Nets take the lead.
- 8:26 – Chris Paul re-enters, and gets big-time cheers. They love that guy here.
- 7:16 – Wildly vicious block from behind by Kris Humphries, who caught Matt Barnes easing off the throttle while fending off Joe Johnson in transition. These are the kinds of things coaches like.
- 5:43 – With CP3 in and D-Will out, Los Angeles goes on a mini-run that forces P.J. to call timeout before the momentum tumbles like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade up in this piece.
- 5:18 – Nets post Brook coming out of the timeout, and he finds ... Reggie Evans underneath for two. I'd say raise your hands if you saw that coming, but I'll not besmirch our circle of trust.
- 1:53 – In transition, Gerald Wallace somehow manages to draw a loose-ball offensive foul on Blake Griffin, negating an impressive alley-oop from Chris Paul to DeAndre Jordan. Deron wets a 3 and it feels like the Nets are back in control.
- Pregame Intros – Big cheers for Brook Lopez. Guess the fam made it downstate, ha.
- 11:45 – Catch and shoot baseline J for Brook to open the scoring. Someone must've mentioned he had people here.
- 10:19 – The Nets' first live end of possession is an airballed three by Deron. But they race back on D, the Clippers have to run a play, and Blake Griffin's hook is blocked by Brook. Good recovery.
- 7:28 – Three-pointer for Blake?! To quote Brandon Knight: "That wasn't in the scouting report."
- 4:55 – Transition finger-roll splitting two defenders? ... That was probably on there.
- 2:08 – Keith Bogans stepped very hard into that screen on Chris Paul, and the Clippers guard went DOWN. But it looked like he grabbed the back of his hamstring/knee. Wonder if it was random. Eric Bledsoe checks in after missing five gams and immediately splits the D for a layup.
- 1:36 – Deron Williams reminds Bledsoe he ain't there yet: Pullup J for 2.
- 0:50 – Kris Humphries checks in for the first time since March 2. Interesting. He's got a history of playing Blake Griffin well.
Brooklyn Nets (40-29)
|G · Deron Williams||G · Joe Johnson||F · Gerald Wallace||F · Reggie Evans||C · Brook Lopez|
Toko Shengelia and Tyshawn Taylor (D-League assignment) are NOT WITH TEAM.
Los Angeles Clippers (48-22)
|G · Chris Paul||G · Willie Green||F · Caron Butler||F · Blake Griffin||C · DeAndre Jordan|
Chauncey Billups (strained right groin) is QUESTIONABLE.
Eric Bledsoe (sore left calf) is DAY-TO-DAY.
Ronny Turiaf (sore right knee) is DAY-TO-DAY.
For more, view the Game Photo Gallery
|15 PTS, 3 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL
5-8 FGs, 2-4 3Ps, 3-4 FTs
|On suffering a right quad contusion while already dealing with a sore left heel:
"It's keeping in balance, ha. We'll see, man. I'll pull through it."