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Clippers at Nets, Where It Almost Went South

At a first glance it would be quite easy to believe the Clippers had a solid outing against the Nets. The final score was a solid 127-119 victory, Tobias and Gallo had fantastic games, Montrezl was his usual self, and Pat dished out 8 assists. Yet for those who weren’t watching, let me tell you, there was a lot of tension and a general uneasiness throughout the game. With that being said let’s take a look at what happened last night and where the Clippers had to improve to pull off this victory.


Coming into the game:

Los Angeles Clippers (9-5) on a 3 game winning streak.

Brooklyn Nets (7-9) coming off a win against the Wizards.

Injury Report: Avery Bradley (LAC), Luc Mbah a Moute (LAC), Caris Levert (BKN), Treveon Graham (BKN)


First Quarter

To start off the game the Nets came out of the gates swinging,  struggling sharpshooter Allen Crabbe started the game off for them knocking down 2 three pointers in 2 attempts. Crabbe had been shooting 27% from beyond the arc and 25% from the field, yet he ended the night with a fairly efficient 15 points. His play was an encapsulation of how efficient the Nets would be tonight and why they had the lead for the majority of the game. Another surprising theme throughout the game was rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander being stuck in foul trouble, the rookie had an unspectacular game but we can be sure he will learn from it.Throughout the night our best chance at beating the Nets proved to be our forward tandem of Tobias and Gallo. Tobi and Gallo had combined for 14 of our 32 by the end of the first, meanwhile Nets big man Jarrett Allen was having himself a night putting up 13 of their 37 points along with 6 boards. The general tone of the game at this point was how the Nets dominated the paint at their will, besides their efficient shooting. If it weren’t for the lackluster defense the Nets played in the first they could have put this game away early.

Nets 37- 32 Clippers

Second Quarter

Starting the quarter with a five point deficit this quarter would only prove to be an even harsher test for the Clippers. Even after sending out energetic big man Montrezl Harrell and scoring machine Lou Williams the Nets kept their original energy and ran out to a 15 point lead. With under eight minutes left in the second quarter the Clippers finally begun to tighten up. This was not to say that the Nets would simply rollover and let go of their lead. Tobias Harris was great in the second quarter putting up eight points in 3-4 shooting. Even with an efficient quarter from Tobias and some contributions from the bench it didn’t prove enough to win the quarter. The Nets would end up outscoring the Clippers 30-28 thanks to their early quarter surge, but a late Jerome Robinson three would cut down the Nets’ 15 point lead with 7:42 to go into a less daunting 7 points going into the halftime break.

 Nets 67-60 Clippers

Halftime Stats:

LAC:  Tobias Harris (14 points, 4 rebounds), Danilo Gallinari (10 points), Patrick Beverley(6pts, 4 assists)

BKN: Jarrett Allen (17 points, 8 rebounds), D’Angello Russell (12 points), Allen Crabbe (11 points)

Third Quarter

The third quarter ended up being more of the same during the first minutes. The Clippers struggled to make any major breakthroughs while the Nets continued to shoot the ball at a good clip. It is important to recognize Gallo’s play during the third he poured in three triples and ended the quarter with 11 points. The Italian was the main reason why the Clippers were able to avoid the Nets from extending their lead through most of the third. A solid 7 points from Tobias also helped the Clippers stay afloat. In the last few minutes the Clippers showed a few signs of life with a mostly bench unit getting some run and cutting into the lead. To end the third we had a foreshadowing bucket coming from Lou Williams in the dying moments of the quarter. The fourth was bound to be interesting and full of Lou Williams.

Nets 97-90 Clippers

Fourth Quarter

Lou Williams entered the fourth quarter with only 7 points and would score his average 9 points in the fourth relatively quickly. Lou started off the quarter serving as the catalyst that the Clippers needed. He would make two of the Clippers’ first three baskets and assist Mike Scott on the other one. This surge was enough to push the Clippers over the hump and tie the game up at 97. Sweet Lou also added 5-5 free throw shooting along with 4 assists in the fourth to keep proving game after game the fourth quarter is his. Of course a single man wasn’t enough to get this win wrapped up. Montrezl Harrel was also huge with 10 points and 5 rebounds in the quarter. Montrezl also took on guarding D’Angello Russell one-on-one in a possession where DLo seemed to be getting the best of him, but when driving to the hoop Harrell asked the Nets guard to politely remove his shot from his sight with an emphatic block. This block also came at a crucial time when the Nets had found a little life within and lead the ball game 106-104. The two most reliable men of the night also made appearances for the Clippers again. Tobias ended the quarter with 6 points while Gallo had 7. Tobias found his production on two of his signature mid-range pull up jumpers as the Clippers battled the Nets in the mid fourth quarter. Tobi’s shots tied up the game twice before Montrezl hit two consecutive shots to put the Clippers up, the second one a fastbreak dunk assisted by Harris. With a 2 point lead and under four minutes to go the Clippers hit a three pointer on a beautiful play. Gallinari attacked the lane before kicking it out to Beverley in the corner, Beverley now attacked the basket as Gallo cut back to the corner, Beverley kicked the ball back out to Gallo who pumped fake Russell into the Nets bench as he knocked down the three point basket. A few defensive stops and perfect trips to the line by Gallo and Harrell would put this game nearly in the W column for the Clippers who lead by 7. The Nets were able to cut down the lead to 4 on a D’Angello Russell three pointer with a little over two minutes to go. Back to back baskets from Gallo and Harrell would  put the game away and the Clippers head to Atlanta with a win.


Final Score Clippers 127- 119 Nets

Stats

D. Gallinari (28 points) T. Harris (27 points, 8 rebounds) L. Williams (16 points, 5 assists) Montrezl Harrell (16 points, 10 rebounds)

Clippers shot 50.5% from the field, 11-23 on 3pt attempts (47.8%)

Clippers winning streak stands at NBA-best 4 games.


Photo: @LAClippers
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