For a while, I’d forgotten what a heart-pounding game that ended well for the Nets felt like. But after Friday night’s overtime loss against the Raptors, the Nets competed for 48 minutes with a team that dominated them athletically, limited the Clippers as much as they possibly could (which wasn’t too much) around the rim, and escaped with a 102-100 victory, their first at home in 36 days.
So this was a wee bit different from the last time these two teams played. After getting torn apart by 39 points by this very Los Angeles Clippers team just ten days ago, the Nets played a little more successful on both ends of the floor, forcing the Clippers that couldn’t dunk and weren’t named Chris Paul into taking bad shots.
This game was closer than it should’ve been, mostly because DeAndre Jordan shot a laughable percentage from the free throw line, and the Nets somehow limited the Clippers when the Clippers weren’t dunking everything in sight. But in the end, it worked out, thanks to some ridiculous crunch-time plays by the Nets, and a terrible last-second call by the Clippers that tried to pull off a back-door pass in 1.3 seconds.
Something to build on?
He might be a walking trade asset, he might have a rebounding allergy, he might half the lateral quickness of a drugged alligator, but Brook Lopez can still score the basketball about as well as any seven-footer walking this earth.
Granted, Lopez had as many issues limiting DeAndre Jordan from dunking as Jordan had limiting Lopez from hitting floaters. But Lopez has begun scoring at his once-ridiculous rate again, and that can only mean good things for the Nets… even if it’s just on the trade market come February 19th.