Nets Gameday: Brooklyn looks to close out LA trip with win over Clippers

James Harden Nets Clippers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets look to close out their holiday swing through tinsel town with another win at Arena, this time against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday (10:30 p.m. ET).

The late-night showdown comes just two days after Brooklyn defeated the Lebron James-led Los Angeles Lakers 122-115 in front of a national audience on Christmas Day.

James Harden put up 36 points in his first game back from COVID protocol and Patty Mills tied a career-best by recording 34 points in the win. Both should play important roles in Monday’s game with a number of Nets players still in COVID protocol, including Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

“Patty’s added so much to our team,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “Obviously, we don’t win [Saturday] without him, but so many nights this year, whether it’s scoring, whether it’s just mature IQ, experience, those things you see on the floor, but it’s just the way he approaches the game: his spirit, his mentality.”

Durant was already ruled out by the Nets for Monday’s game against the Clippers on Sunday. Nash had left some openness for optimism that Durant could join the team for Monday’s game when he spoke with reporters Friday.

Durant is one of seven Nets still in COVID protocol. The forward is joined by LaMarcus Aldridge, David Duke Jr., Kessler Edwards, Kyrie Irving, Day’Ron Sharpe, and Cam Thomas.

Los Angeles is going through lineup drama of its own, but not because of COVID. The Clippers have been dealing with a string of injuries, including one to star Paul George. The Clippers wing is out with a torn ligament in his right elbow that will be re-evaluated in the next three-to-four weeks.

The Clippers have managed to survive the rash of injuries and remain in the mix in the Western Conference standings with a 17-16 record. LA dropped a tough game to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday which nearly was tied by Brandon Boston Jr. in the closing seconds.

“Our guys did a good job and we were in a position to win the game,” Los Angeles coach Tyronn Lue said. “I was happy and pleased with the way our young guys played.”

The game between the Clippers and the Nets is the second half of games that will see Los Angeles play on consecutive nights. It is the second time this season that the Clippers have had to play a set of games on back-to-back nights.

The Nets have taken the last three meetings between the two teams, including their last visit to the then-named Staples Center which was a 112-108 win for Brooklyn.

Nets Notables

The Nets enter Monday’s game a franchise-record nine games over .500 on the road (12-3). Prior to that Brooklyn had never been more than six games over .500 on the road and they hold the best road record against Western Conference foes dating back to the start of last season. … James Harden is second in the league in assists per game with 9.6. He trails only Chris paul who is averaging 9.9 per game. … The Nets are 13-4 in ‘clutch’ games this season. Only Washington (14-1) and Phoenix (12-2) have a better ‘clutch’ game-winning percentage in the NBA this season.

Injury Report

  • Joe Harris (left ankle surgery) — Out
  • LaMarcus Aldridge (health and safety protocols) – Out
  • David Duke Jr. (health and safety protocols) — Out
  • Kevin Durant (health and safety protocols) — Out
  • Kessler Edwards (health and safety protocols) — Out
  • Kyrie Irving (health and safety protocols) — Out
  • Day’Ron Sharpe (health and safety protocols) — Out
  • Cam Thomas (health and safety protocols) — Out

How to Watch

Monday’s game will air on YES Network with Ian Eagle, Sarah Kustok and Michael Grady on the broadcast. NBA TV will also carry the game. Chris Carrino and Tim Capstraw will have the call on the radio on 101.9 FM WFAN.

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