|J.J. Redick, acquired by the Clippers via trade this summer, hit five three-pointers for LA last night|
After a rousing overtime win on Friday night in Phoenix versus the Suns–the first road victory for the Nets this season–Brooklyn had to head west to play the Los Angeles Clippers the next night. Although the handicapped Nets played very well against one of the NBA's best teams, they faded away towards the end of the game as LA pulled away.
Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce all sat out the game with various injuries, meaning the only former Celtic on the Nets who faced off with former Boston and current Clippers coach Doc Rivers was Jason Terry. The shorthanded Nets played very well against the offensively dominant Clippers and were even up by double digits at some points. However, it wasn't meant to be for Jason Kidd's team, as Los Angeles fought backin the second half to regain the lead and hold on for a win.
Joe Johnson was the only regular Brooklyn starter who played, and even didn't play the well the day after he hit the winning buzzer-beater for the Nets. Joe was 5-of-17 from the field, scoring 13 points, and is now at a dismal 40.8 percent on the season. Alan Anderson and Andray Blatche, starting in place of Paul Pierce and Brook Lopez, picked up the scoring slack, dropping 15 and 19 points respectively. Blatche's 18-footers were falling as were Anderson's three-pointers, of which he made four.
Mason Plumlee and Tyshawn Taylor, who got big minutes because of Brooklyn's injuries, were great off the bench for the Nets as well. Plumlee missed seven of the 12 free throws he attempted, an area of the game he must improve, but was 7-of-10 from the field and scored 19 points. He held his own against the Clippers' high-flying frontcourt of Blake Griffin and DAndre Jordan, exhibiting why the Nets picked him in the first round of June's Draft. Taylor scored 13 points in just 15 minutes and provided an important energy boost for the Nets.
Some other observations I had from the game: Taking on the Clippers at full-strength wouldn't have been an easy task for the Nets, so doing it shorthanded was a nearly impossible task. Brooklyn, all things considered, played well in the loss as the team's role players rose up to the occasion. Unfortunately, they just couldn't make the plays they had to late in the game to earn a win….Reggie Evans got the start, playing 22 minutes and finally looking like himself. He grabbed 11 boards and was decent on defense, which is all Jason Kidd can ask of him….Turnovers weren't a problem for the Nets last night but free throws and rebounding were. 22-of-33 free throw shooting and a -11 rebounding margin just aren't going to cut it against an elite opponent.
The Nets head home after a 1-2 West Coast trip to face the surging Portland Trail Blazers, who have won their last six games, at Barclays.