The first half of the first quarter was pretty much as good as it got for the Brooklyn Nets all evening, and they would finish the game shooting just 37.5% from the field. Due to an absolutely dominant second quarter by the Los Angeles Clippers, the outcome of this game was never in doubt. Indeed, the Clippers would finish the game with a 123-84 victory over the Nets, with the starters planted on the bench less than halfway through the third quarter. The Los Angeles Clippers mercilessly clobbered the visiting Brooklyn Nets. A dominant second quarter essentially put the game out of reach for the Nets. The Clippers were scorching hot from everywhere on the court, finishing the game shooting 59% from the field. Their three-ball was falling, their ball movement was crisp, and their dunks were particularly spectacular and ferocious. Los Angeles played with energy and intensity. It is hard to critique anything the Clippers did this evening, and it is nice that they got a dominant win on national television. Even the TNT Halftime Crew probably realized that they would look silly if they picked on the Clippers too much during intermission, given that the Clippers were leading 70-37.
Everyone played well tonight for Los Angeles, but Blake Griffin (24 points on 11 of 14 shooting) and DeAndre Jordan (14 points on a perfect 7 of 7 shooting and 12 rebounds) care share the game ball. The Nets' interior defense was their friend. As in, the Nets' interior defense was nonexistent. The Clippers' big men got many easy and open looks around the basket, and they converted them tonight. Brooklyn was helpless to stop the Clippers in general, but Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee did not do a good job of locking down their assignments. This game featured some of the most spectacular dunks of the season from both Griffin and Jordan. Vintage "Lob City" was in full force tonight. It was clear that they were letting loose and having some fun. Jordan's dunk over Lopez is probably going to haunt the Brooklyn center for days to come. Here is another look at this beauty, which is the signature play of the game:
The announcers certainly got a kick over this dunk. The two of them also did a good job defensively on Lopez, who finished the game with just 4 points (1 of 3 shooting) and 1 rebound. Plumlee, who matches up well with Jordan athletically, did have 16 points (6 of 9 from the field), but he had just three boards.
The Clippers were also on fire from three-point land tonight, which was one of the keys to the game. One of the biggest differences between the Clippers and the Nets is that the Clippers make their threes. That was certainly clear in this game. Matt Barnes made half of his four attempts from deep, and J.J. Redick made three three-pointers on four tries. For the game, the Clippers made 14 of 21 shots from downtown (good for 44%), while the Nets shot a putrid 4 of 21 from beyond the arc (just 19%). This discrepancy made a huge difference in the game, as the Clippers kept burying their opponents by nailing their threes. The three-ball gave the Nets no breathing room tonight. It was a great weapon for the Clippers.
- Chris Paul remains in a shooting slump, and he knows it. He finished just 2 of 5 from the field tonight. However, he did have a marvelous assisting game, finishing with 17 assists in just 24 minutes of play. The TNT Crew reported that the last player to finish with that number of assists in that amount of time was none other than Doc Rivers.
- Speaking of assists, the Clippers' ball movement was fantastic in general. They finished with 41 assists on 49 field goals. The Nets had just 17 assists for the game (as many as Paul alone) on 33 field goals. Yikes.
- Redick had a really solid game tonight, finishing with 17 points and 3 assists. He was an efficient 6 of 8 from the field.
- Griffin was announced as an All-Star starter earlier this evening, and he certainly played like one tonight. In a segment dedicated to predicting the reserves, none of the TNT studio commentators predicted that Paul would be selected.
- The second unit was not half bad! They actually extended the lead in the second quarter, which was rare so far this season. It has been just a few games since the arrival of Austin Rivers and the departure of Jordan Farmar, Chris Douglas-Roberts, and Reggie Bullock, but the chemistry of the team looks much better.
- Speaking of the younger Rivers, Austin finally had a good offensive showing, but he did get a bit trigger happy in garbage time. He finished with 9 points (4 of 7 from the field), and he made a three-pointer. He also had 4 rebounds and 6 assists (2 turnovers). Yes, most of his minutes came in extended garbage time, but he was playing with visibly more confidence. He also brought some defensive intensity, especially in the second quarter.
- The Nets' Mirza Teletovic became ill during the game and was taken to a local hospital. Needless to say, he did not return to the game. He played just eight scoreless minutes.
- Glen "Big Baby" Davis seemed to be on the floor a lot this game. Just an observation.
- C.J. Wilcox was back from a brief stint in the D-League, and he looks like he could turn into a decent NBA scorer in the league. He made half of his four shot attempts.
- Projected to start, Kevin Garnett did not play in the game. The Nets are trying to conserve him for later in the season. As bad as they looked tonight, they would be squaring off against Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs if they started today.
- Jay Z (a minority owner of the Nets) and Beyonce were in attendance. Jay Z was seen speaking with Clippers' owner, Steve Ballmer.
- The Clippers get two days off before their next game.