Nets Fall to Clippers 105-95
By Cory Wright
The Brooklyn Nets two-game winning streak came to an end Monday, as they fell 105-95 to the LA Clippers at Staples Center.
It was close, as the Nets entered the fourth quarter trailing 81-79 – off a Jamal Crawford buzzer beater – but Brooklyn’s offense faded in the final period, scoring 16 points, their fewest of any quarter on Monday.
“They played well down the stretch which we didn’t,” Tony Brown said. “They have a veteran ball club. They have been playing well together since losing some of their key guys. There was not enough defensively we could take away with the scorers they have.”
The Nets offense struggled at the wrong time, undercutting a solid effort through the first three quarters. Brooklyn only scored one point in the first 5:33 of the fourth, until Brook Lopez (25 points, 10 rebounds) threw down a slam on a pass from Markel Brown. At that point, the Nets were still in striking distance, but Crawford turned it on, scoring 10 of his game-high 26 points in the fourth.
“Crawford got hot,” Brook Lopez said. “As a complete unit I thought we could have done a better job on the pick and roll.”
Chris Paul scored 23, while JJ Redick had 19 for the Clippers. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 19 points for the Nets in a fast-paced, back-and-forth tilt through three quarters that saw the teams trade runs. Brooklyn used a 12-2 run in the third quarter to take a 72-71 lead, but the Clippers closed out the quarter on an 8-0 run, foreshadowing what was to come in the fourth.
“They are great ball club, but you can’t go out there and play [relaxed] and not get into them,” Brown said. “Get into them, get into Chris Paul, get into Jamal Crawford, make them work a little harder. That’s the message we are trying to preach.”
Wayne Ellington left Monday’s game in the third quarter to get checked for a possible concussion after a collision with DeAndre Jordan. Ellington’s night ended early, but not before he scored 13 points, hitting double-digits for the 12th time in his last 14 games. Donald Sloan scored 10 points, hitting double-digits for the fourth straight game, a career-best. He and Shane Larkin split the game virtually 50/50, with Larkin’s six assists leading the Nets.
Sean Kilpatrick, who the Nets signed to a 10-day contract Sunday, saw his first action, checking in briefly (0:29) in the second quarter.
The Nets are back in action at Staples Center on Tuesday night, when they play Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers. Tuesday marks Bryant’s final game against the Nets.