Live by the Corey, die by the Corey.
The Clippers wasted 23 points on 10 shots from Corey Maggette, and 27 points on 9 for 20 shooting and 5 threes by Cuttino Mobley in this game. That's 50 points from their wings (who average less than 30 combined). But instead of riding those two hot hands to the win, they threw the game away. As a team, they had 18 turnovers, and Maggette and Mobley were responsible for 13 of them. Corey turned it over almost every way imaginable, and always at crucial points in the game. In the final 69 seconds of the first half, Corey had three turnovers and the Nets scored the last 5 points to take a 3 point lead into the locker room. With a little over 2 minutes to go in the game, Corey turned the ball over on consecutive possessions with the team done three and desperate for a hoop.
In addition to the usual offensive fouls (he had two of those) and balls he lost as he drove to the basket (three), he also let Jason Kidd pick his pocket in the back court to give the Nets the final shot of the first half (a go ahead three), threw one pass about 20 feet over Brand's head out of bounds, and threw another pass about 20 feet over Cassell's head into the back court. (I know the box score shows him with 7, and that adds up to 8. The backcourt violation is recorded as a team turnover, but it was Corey's all the way.)
There were other issues in the game of course. The fact that the play-by-play shows
- Elton Brand blocks layup
- Mikki Moore offensive rebound
- Shooting foul
This loss hurts. It hurts bad. It's one thing to play well enough to win in Houston but come up short. But to squander break out offensive efforts from Mobley and Maggette, because of carelessness with the ball and the inability to box out is inexcusable. This may well be the game that ends the Clippers season.