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Clippers 102 - Nets 101

The Clippers broke the law tonight.  Lawler's Law clearly states "First to 100 wins" so when Bostjan Nachbar made his fourth three of the game (on five tries) to give the Nets a 100-97 lead, the Clippers had no choice but to take the law into their own hands.  

The hero of the final minute was Cuttino Mobley.  Not only did he make the three to win the game with 0.6 seconds on the clock.  His block on Nachbar's fast break layup to keep the Clippers within 2 points with 42 seconds left was just as big.

Cuttino Mobley
© Henry Chen, all rights reserved

Cat Mobley, hero

This is a good news bad news game.  The good news is the Clippers won a close one in exciting fashion.  They have a four game win streak, they pulled back to .500 for the first time since Dec. 11 when they were 10-10, and they are in sole possession of 8th place, at least for a day.

The bad news is that they blew an 18 point second half lead, and got outscored 31-21 in the final quarter at home against an Eastern Conference team with a losing record missing two starters.

I will say this:  Vince Carter always kills the Clippers, and he did it again.  His playing time was limited in the first half due to foul trouble, and as the second half was getting under way, I turned to the guy next to me and said, "Vince is going to make up for lost time."  I was right.  He scored 13 seconds into the third quarter and wound up with 24 second half points on 9 for 13 shooting - he was 13 for 18 for the game.  You know, I see these box scores where a guy named Vince Carter has a mediocre game, and I think, who is that guy?  Because whenever I see him, he's just unstoppable.

It also didn't help matters that the Nets suddenly got white-hot from beyond the arc.  After shooting 0 for 5 on their first half three point attempts (the Clippers led 57-40 at halftime), they made 7 of 10 in the second half.  

So, I guess it's good that the Clippers were able to withstand the onslaught of an unstoppable Vince Carter and some unconscious three point shooting.  It's certainly a good thing that they dug deep and forced a 24 second violation when they had to have a stop on the Nets' final possession.  But it is not at all good that they missed 9 straight shots over the last 5 minutes before Mobley hit the game winner.  And it's not good that they looked helpless against the pick and roll.  

But it's still a win, and the momentum continues to build.  The stage is set for a very important game on Saturday.  Regardless of what the Wolves do tomorrow, Saturday night's game will be for 8th place.  It is the final meeting of the year between the two teams, so a win is also crucial in terms of tie breakers - whoever wins the game wins the season series.