Gerald Wallace scored 13 points in the third quarter, probably his best quarter of play the whole season. Even with his great effort, the Nets didn't have enough last night to overcome a Clippers team that puts up points in quick bunches
Through three quarters vs the Clippers last night at the Staples Center, the Nets were able to hang around with one of the NBA's top teams, as Brooklyn held a 75-70 lead after 36 minutes of play. Then, as has been the case for much of the Nets' inaugural season in Kings County, one quarter doomed the team, converting a realistic win into a demoralizing loss. On Saturday, that 12-minute period from hell was the fourth quarter, a quarter in which the Clippers outscored the Nets by a tally of 31-20.
The loss ruined a wonderful game from the Nets, a team in the midst of a season-long eight-game road trip, of which they are already played three games (are 2-1 so far), in which they got great performances from Gerald Wallace, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and others. They showed up in a big way against one of the NBA's elite, but just didn't have enough in the tank to overcome an MVP-like game from Chris Paul, who scored 29 points and dished out 11 assists on the evening.
Some other observations I had from the game: A major surprise in this one was the resurgent effort of Gerald Wallace, as the much-maligned Nets' small forward has had a dreadful season by most standards. Against LA, he actually was hitting shots, finishing at the rim. and playing great man defense on Caron Butler and Jamal Crawford, whom he limited to 8-20 shooting combined. Gerald scored 15 on 5-8 shooting from the field, with two of those field goals coming from three-point range. He even hit three of four free throws, grabbed five rebounds, and collected three steals. All in all, a wonderful game from a player that is crucial to the Nets' success, but has disappointing since joining the team……#ReggieEvansReboundCount: 16. Also made five of six free throws. I don't know either……Brook Lopez, in addition to limiting Blake Griffin to 11 points on 4-11 shooting, scored a ho-hum 18 points while hitting nine of 14 field goal attempts. The jump hook was working in Southern California, but the rebounding wasn't. Brook just napped two boards as the Nets were outboarded by a margin of 41-33.
The Nets head just a little bit south to Phoenix to take on the Suns later tonight.