Nets Hold On Against Clippers to Seal Undefeated Road Trip

A-

Final: 02/21/2021

W 112 108

Photo via Screenshot/SInow

Nothing seems to be able to shake the Nets as of late. 

Not the reigning champion. Not a short rotation. Not a late threat against the No. 2 team in the West. 

The Nets made franchise history by recording its first-ever 5-0 road trip after capping it off with a 112-108 win over the Clippers on Sunday. The victory brings Brooklyn to 20-12 on the season.

The Nets built as large as a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, but some sloppiness and a cold streak let the Clippers tie the game with under 30 seconds remaining. To the rescue came DeAndre Jordan, who came up big on the offensive glass and cleaned up a missed Kyrie Irving three-pointer for the game-winner. 

As the hectic final minute showed, Brooklyn was put to the test against a Clippers team that was coming off a victory over the red-hot Utah Jazz. The Nets used an aggressive offensive plan to hurt L.A. inside, building a 60-38 advantage as players worked with ease and creativity in the paint. 

Brooklyn’s hustle reigned supreme as the team largely set the pace throughout the night. The Nets accomplished the feat while working with just seven rotation players due to Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot exiting early with a hip contusion. Then in the final minutes, the rotation was cut down to six after Jeff Green went down with what seemed to be a shoulder injury.

Despite being shorthanded, James Harden and Kyrie Irving stepped up and combined for 65 points as the team shot 47.8% from the field. The duo has been Brooklyn’s rock during this stretch while the supporting cast has continued to step up. 

The Nets were able to keep up their edge thanks to their activity on defense, as they forced 16 turnovers that turned into 27 points. Brooklyn kept down the mistakes themselves with just six giveaways on the night.

The Clippers were powered by a combined 63 points from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but the Nets had the more impactful supporting cast. That helped make the difference during a meeting of the league’s top offenses.

The victory extends a trend of Brooklyn’s dominance against top talent this season, with its record against teams above .500 now at 11-1. The Nets are also 8-0 against playoff teams in the West, with two of those wins coming against the Clippers.

The Nets’ chemistry seems at its best as the team is clicking at the right moments. They have shown resolve through deficits and double-digit leads alike, no matter the lineup.

The question comes to: Is this sustainable? A six-game winning streak would answer yes, with Kevin Durant’s return coming potentially sooner than later. 

One thing is for sure, that road trip could not have gone much better. Back to Brooklyn with more work to do. 

James Harden

A

The stats: 37 PTS, 13-25 FG, 4-9 3PT, 7-11 FT, 11 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 3 TO, 41 MIN

James Harden was the lone Net to break 40 minutes of play, and he made use of every second.

Harden switched up his offensive game throughout the night as he got crafty in the paint and was on-point from three. It does not get old to watch Harden get the ball in his hands and do what he does best. 

Beyond his offense, Harden also forced the defensive stop against Kawhi in the final moments to lock up the win. Harden continues to be a leader on both ends of the ball, and with that comes a feeling of ease when he is on the court for fans and teammates alike.

Kyrie Irving

B+

The stats: 28 PTS, 12-26 FG, 2-11 3PT, 2-2 FT, 4 REB, 8 AST, 1 STL, 40 MIN

Kyrie continues to struggle from distance, but man, is he fun to watch regardless.

From a dunk (!) to ball movement, Kyrie was a key cog of Brooklyn’s attack against the Clippers. He fell short on a few shots down the stretch that could have been costly, but his teammates stepped up to pull out the victory.

Kyrie’s three-point shot will come back, that is just a matter of time. But his leadership and ability to score at the rim was at the forefront of Brooklyn’s success throughout the road trip. 

DeAndre Jordan

A

The stats: 13 PTS, 6-7 FG, 1-2 FT, 11 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 4 BLK, 32 MIN

Tasked with big minutes, DJ was no stranger to the moment. 

DeAndre was put back into the game in the final minutes after Green’s injury, and the move could have saved the victory. DJ was strong on the boards throughout the night, recording his third double-double of the season alongside four (!) blocks.

DeAndre was great defensively against his old team and worked well in finishing his shots. None more important than his last of the game, showing that the entire team is ready to step up when it matters most. 

Bruce Brown

A-

The stats: 13 PTS, 6-10 FG, 1-2 FT, 8 REB, 2 AST, 4 STL, 1 TO, 34 MIN

Four offensive rebounds! Four steals! What a night for Bruce Brown.

His game is not always the loudest, but it is always dependable. Brown stepped up on the boards as the Nets went small and was active in cutting and finishing at the bucket. 

Brown was the head of Brooklyn’s defensive effort, and everyone fed off his energy. The Nets are happy to have him on their side. 

Joe Harris

B+

The stats: 13 PTS, 4-11 FG, 3-8 3PT, 2-2 FT, 2 AST, 1 STL, 36 MIN

Three words: Joe Fist Pump.

It took a while for Joe to get going after scoring just two points in the first half, but good things come with patience. The three balls started falling in the second half as the Nets built their lead to as large as 15.

Joe cooled down a bit after back-to-back 20-point games, but it was still enough as he got help from Bruce and DJ. It was a team effort, and Joe was active on defense to round out his performance. 

News from Around NYC