With four starters not playing because of injuries, the Brooklyn Nets still managed to play a tough game against the Los Angeles Clippers only to lose 110-103 Saturday night at the Staples Center.
“Probably everybody didn’t count on us when they saw (Kevin Garnett), (Paul Pierce) and (Deron Williams) and everybody was out,” Alan Anderson said. “They probably just said, ‘They had no chance.’ But we could have won the game, so it was encouraging to see we had a chance.”
Williams, Brook Lopez and Garnett all missed the game with ankle injuries and Pierce was out with a sore groin so the Nets had to go deep into the bench for this one and managed to get a strong performance that just fell short against a talented Clippers team. Andray Blatche and Mason Plumlee led with 19 points, Anderson and Tyshawn Taylor had 15 and 13 points respectively and three other players had at least 11 points.
It was close early and the Nets even built up a 10 point lead just before the half, thanks to 10 first half points from Blatche and Taylor, but the Clippers finished on a 10-1 run to finish the half trailing just 55-54.
The third quarter was close as the Nets continued to hang in there, and they trailed 93-92 with 4:12 left in the fourth. Plumlee tried to keep them in it with 11 fourth quarter points, but Chris Paul hit a big three to go up six and DeAndre Jordan had five points in the final 26.2 seconds.
“We have to win games,” Plumlee said. “It’s no secret we have an old team and we have to rest guys. I’m sure [Kidd] has said it to you all as well, but we have to come up with wins and we’re capable of that. It’s not like they’re asking us to do something we can’t do. We can win games with the group we had (Saturday).”
Rebounds killed the Nets as they were beaten on the glass 51-39. That lead to 13 second chance points from the Clippers and 44 points in the paint. They also struggled against the Clippers fast paced offense as they outscored them 24-6 on fast-break points. Griffin finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds, J.J. Redick had 26 points and Paul had 12 points and 13 assists. He’s not finished with a double-double in all 10 of the Clippers’ games, one shy of a record set by Magic Johnson.