You wouldn’t have thought the Clippers were favored by 10 points based on their performance from Sunday night. LA just couldn’t contain the Nets at all, letting them shoot 55 percent from the field en route to their 129-120 loss.
The Clippers’ lack of defense was evident right away, as they allowed Brooklyn to score 45 points in the opening quarter. Through one, LA already trailed 21. Five different Nets players scored at least 16 points, with Caris LeVert leading the way with 27 points. Joe Harris added 25 points, going 5-for-8 from downtown.
Entering the second half down 11 points, Kawhi Leonard put the team on his back and quickly brought the Clippers to within striking distance. Leonard went on a personal 11-0 run, tying the game at 74 a piece. On the night, Leonard finished with a game-high 39 points, shooting 56 percent from the field. His heroics weren’t enough though, as the Clippers simply couldn’t keep the game close.
After the game was tied at 77, the Nets slowly ran away with the game. The Clips would get close numerous times, cutting the lead to within six. However, Brooklyn was just too much to handle. As a team, they knocked down 20 from deep, and they just seemed to keep hitting big shots at the right time.
With under two minutes remaining, the Clippers were able to get within six. Yet again, they simply couldn’t stop the Nets on the other end, as that was the closest they’d get before falling by 11.
The Clippers currently sit as the No. 2 seed with two games remaining. The Nuggets are one game behind them. Both teams will meet this week, with the winner of that game all but likely locking down the second seed.
- Paul George didn’t play (rest)
- Doc Rivers said that Reggie Jackson tweaked his ankle, but it doesn’t appear serious
- Kawhi Leonard played 36 minutes, ramping himself up for the playoffs
- Ivica Zubac had another dominant game, posting eight points and 15 rebounds
- Marcus Morris Sr. shot well again, adding 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting
The Clippers are off until Wednesday, when they’ll play the Denver Nuggets in a pivotal game for seeding. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. PT on TNT and Fox Sports Prime Ticket.