Led by a career-high 37 points from Sean Kilpatrick, the Brooklyn Nets upset the Los Angeles Clippers 127-122 in double overtime Tuesday night. The Clippers were in command for the first three quarters before a barrage of triples catapulted Brooklyn back into it. The Nets drilled all six of their threes in the final frame, with Kilpatrick netting 20 points in the final 12 minutes alone.
Chris Paul finished with his first triple-double of the season (26 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds), but really struggled with his shot down the stretch. He wound up connecting on just 11 of his 26 shots all night. DeAndre Jordan (21 points, 23 boards) and Austin Rivers (15 points, 5/9 shooting) were really the only other Clippers able to muster much offensively. J.J. Redick got off to a hot start but fizzled as the game went on and finished just 3/10 from three-point range.
Blake Griffin sat this one out in order to rest, but the Clippers can’t use his absence as an excuse for losing this game. Brooklyn came into this one reeling, riding a seven-game losing streak as they continued to play without Jeremy Lin. LAC went 31-16 during the regular season without Griffin in the lineup a season ago, but they weren’t able to get themselves over the hump without him in this one. They came out with good energy, but the Nets grew more lively as their confidence soared in the latter stages. The Clips were never able to recover, and were ultimately beaten by a Brooklyn team more hungry for a win.
Paul Pierce got the start in Griffin’s place and played like the Paul Pierce we’ve all come to know and love. He knocked down his first shot of the night before missing his last six while playing like a statue defensively for 29 minutes.
L.A. looked fatigued in the losses to the Pistons and Pacers, and those tired legs showed up again tonight. They hit just 13 of 40 three-pointers and shot just 42 percent overall while turning the ball over 15 times. It was yet another ugly showing.
The loss was LAC’s third in a row and dropped them to 14-5 on the season heading into Thursday’s showdown in Cleveland against the defending champs.
The Clips got off to a strong start, hitting each of their first three shots (including a Paul Pierce three!) while holding the Nets scoreless through the first three minutes. There was far more pep in the Clippers’ collective step to start this one than we saw in Detroit or Indiana. They were flying around defensively and Chris Paul was able to dictate the tempo on the other end. J.J. Redick got off to an excellent start, scoring 10 of L.A.’s first 22 points on 5-for-9 shooting early on.
Brooklyn was hanging tough, though, with Trevor Booker looking particularly spry. The Nets’ energetic forward effectively used his strength advantage over the smaller Pierce to score a few early buckets down low.
CP3 was expectedly aggressive without Griffin out there, and scored eight points along with five dimes in the opening frame alone. Things fell apart a bit once he left the game, though, as the reserve unit turned it over three times in the final couple of minutes of the first. The Nets were able to capitalize and LAC held just a four point lead after the first despite playing rather well overall.
The second unit looked more composed to start the second, with Raymond Felton and Austin Rivers combining to score the first nine points for L.A. to open up a 10-point advantage. The Nets were ice cold from the field but free throws were keeping them in it. Bojan Bogdanovic made four separate trips to the stripe before the quarter was even halfway over. They made just two shots from the floor over the first six minutes, yet the Clippers struggled to put them away.
CP3 and D.J. returned to restore order, though, and three straight buckets from Jordan gave the Clips their largest lead of the night to this point at 54-41. Noted marksman Brook Lopez was proving a handful for Jordan on the other end, though. He nailed a couple of threes in the first before doing some damage inside the arc in the second.
The play of the half, though, came here as CP3 dished to Pierce for the easy slam. Or at least that’s what was supposed to happen...
Thanks a lot, Paul Pierce. Fortunately, Chris subsequently drilled a long ball near the buzzer to put LAC up 65-53 at the break.
Both clubs got off to a ragged start offensively to start the second half. They combined to miss 17 of their first 23 shots of the period, but a corner three from Sean Kilpatrick pulled Brooklyn back to within seven at 69-62. After a timeout, Redick responded with a Jamal Crawford Special four-point play to put L.A. back up double digits.
That’s when Austin Rivers decided to randomly take over the game. The coach’s kid scored nine straight points, including a pair of three-pointers, to help the road team to an 82-66 advantage. The teams traded turnovers and missed shots for essentially the remainder of the period, and the Clippers held a healthy 13-point lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
The Nets wouldn’t go away. The Clips had chance after chance to step on Brooklyn’s throats, but failed to convert. The Nets weren’t even playing all that well offensively, but they were just able to do enough on both ends to keep their heads above water. With the lead slipping away, Doc decided to bring CP3, D.J. and J.J. back in with just under eight to go.
Finally, Brooklyn began to mount a tangible charge behind a red-hot Sean Kilpatrick. The Clips were struggling to break down the Nets’ energetic defense Kilpatrick became engulfed in flames offensively. He dominated the ball offensively and the Clippers could do nothing to stop him. Kilpatrick began the period with seven points in the game, but by the five minute mark of the fourth he was up to 27.
A triple from Lopez sent Barclays Center into a frenzy and gave the Nets their first lead of the game at 102-99. The Clips were on the wrong end of a 34-13 run. CP ended the run to tie things up with a three of his own, though, and a Jamal Crawford jumper a couple of possessions later seesawed L.A. back on top.
The Clippers clearly didn’t learn their lesson regarding Lopez and his newfound floor-stretchability, and he hit another long one that gave lead right back to Brooklyn. Pierce and Crawford each missed a three, but LAC got the ball back with a chance to tie with 12 seconds to play.
Then, CP3 happened. Paul then drilled a wide open triple from the corner to knot things back up at 107 to send the game into OT.
DeAndre Jordan got things off to a fine start with a pair of putback slams, but Kilpatrick was relentless. He collected two more easy layups at the rim to help give Brooklyn its largest lead of the night at 116-111. At this point the Nets were playing with insane energy, while the Clips looked defeated. They were clanking midrange jumpers while Brooklyn kept fighting their way to the rim.
The Nets’ energy translated to the defensive end and LAC was really struggling to get much penetration at all. Brooklyn missed a few would-be kill shots, though, which kept the door for the Clips cracked open. The teams exchanged a few free throws before Doc Rivers was slapped with a rather untimely technical foul with under 20 seconds left, though, and he subsequently went ballistic. He was ejected and Mike Woodson’s impeccable goatee took over.
The Nets failed to put the Clips away again, though as Kilpatrick and Isaiah Whitehead missed three of the four ensuing free throws. Crawford made Brooklyn pay for its Nick Anderson ways by drilling a three on the other end, and we had double OT!
As had been the case since the second half began, LAC came into the period ice cold. Paul continued to miss midrange jumpers he normally hits, and Redick forced a couple of ugly off-the-dribble jumpers that didn’t even come close to hitting the net.
The teams exchanged a slew of bricks and turnovers for the remainder of the period before CP3 finally knocked down an elbow J to tie things up again. Whitehead then bullied his way to the bucket for a layup before Kilpatrick put the game on ice with an and-one with just 13 seconds to play. Game over.
Sean Kilpatrick - 38 points (14/34 shooting), 14 rebounds, two assists
Chris Paul - 26 points (11/25 shooting), 13 assists, 10 rebounds, four turnovers
DeAndre Jordan - 21 points (9/13 shooting), 23 rebounds, one block
Brook Lopez - 27 points (11/20 shooting), eight rebounds, four assists
Trevor Booker - 15 points (7/13 shooting), 11 rebounds, five assists, four steals