A few weeks ago, on the Brooklyn Nets west coast road trip, Nets bench boss Kenny Atkinson opted to sit Brook Lopez against the Los Angeles Clippers to rest him for a game against the Los Angeles Lakers the next night, the end result, a 127-95 late night massacre. The Clippers outscored Brooklyn 39-14 in the opening quarter, and hit fourteen of their twenty-five three point attempts (56%).
Tuesday in Brooklyn? A different story to say the least.
Behind Sean Kilpatrick’s career-high 38 points and 14 rebounds, the Nets topped the Clippers 127-122 in double overtime. Here’s how it happened.
Tuesday night’s contest marked the final of the season between the two clubs, and this time it was the Clippers missing a star big man. Los Angeles head coach Doc Rivers gave starting power forward Blake Griffin the night off for some extra rest ahead of LA’s next game, Thursday night against Cleveland. In the Nov. 14 game, Griffin scored thirteen in the first quarter (just one less than Brooklyn as a team), and beat the Nets to double figures. At the time Griffin scored his 13th point, the score was 35-7, ouch. Former Net Paul Pierce started at small forward, with Luc Mbah a Moute at power forward.
The Clippers came into Barclay’s Center with two straight losses to the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles shot just thirty-one percent and scored only 70 points in that loss to Indiana, their lowest point total since 2003.
Brook Lopez showed why he’s integral to the Nets success in the first quarter, hitting two of his three shots from behind the arc as he dragged DeAndre Jordan out of the paint.
Trevor Booker showed what Brooklyn Grit is all about as he forced a pair of turnovers including one that lead to an uncontested dunk.
— Justis Doucet (@JDouce18) November 30, 2016
After the first quarter, the Clippers led 28-24 on 10 points from Clippers sharpshooter JJ Redick, Lopez tallied eight points for the Nets.
Isaiah Whitehead started at point guard against Chris Paul, after missing the last meeting. Sean Kilpatrick had his turn on the Nets point guard merry go round, and struggled, turning the ball over five times in the game. Brooklyn had 21 overall turnovers in the game compared to just two in the first half of Tuesday’s game, the fewest in any half this season.
The Nets hit just five of nineteen looks from behind the arc in the first half, good for 26 percent, and were out-rebounded by the Clippers 27-18, including a first half double-double from DeAndre Jordan with twelve points and ten rebounds.
In the first meeting of the season, the Nets gave up 71 first half points; Tuesday they allowed 65, and went into the break down 12, on the wrong end of 65-53 game. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 15 points on six of ten shooting, while the Clippers Chris Paul, JJ Redick and DeAndre Jordan combined for 37 points.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) November 30, 2016
The Nets were able to trim the deficit to seven halfway through the third quarter as Trevor Booker euro-stepped into the lane and kicked out to Sean Kilpatrick for a corner three. JJ Redick then silenced every Nets fan in the building, after the Nets had brought them alive, with a fadeaway three while drawing a foul to complete the four-point play. After three, Los Angeles increased their twelve point halftime lead to thirteen, and led 86-73.
The Nets started the fourth quarter on a 16-8 run to trim the deficit to four after a Sean Kilpatrick and-one. Kilpatrick was everything in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 of his career-high 38 in the frame. Brook Lopez gave the Nets a 102-99 lead with three minutes to go, leading to a Clippers timeout. The Clippers tied it at 104, cue Brook Lopez, a cold-blooded three to give the Nets the lead.
Chris Paul drilled a corner three with 1.8 seconds remaining after beautifully faking out Trevor Booker, who flew by the Clippers point guard. Sean Kilpatrick floated a runner towards the rim with the buzzer sounding that went halfway through before rimming out to send it to overtime.
Overtime was a back-and-forth affair, with Joe Harris hitting a three, and Sean Kilpatrick doing his thing. Isaiah Whitehead made one of the best heads up plays of the season fouling DeAndre Jordan on a wide open dunk, and Jordan made one of two free throws to trim the deficit to two with 20 seconds left. The Clippers then fouled Kilpatrick, and Doc Rivers lost it, he wanted his team to defend until the Nets crossed half court. Rivers was given a technical foul, then ejected. Whitehead missed both technical free throws, and Sean Kilpatrick made just one of his two foul shots to give Brooklyn a 118-115 lead. The door was left open, and Jamal Crawford ripped that door off its hinges with a game-tying three. Off to double overtime.
“The first half I played terrible” said Kilpatrick, who iced it with a clutch and-one as he slipped past Chris Paul and hit the shot with DeAndre Jordan all over him. Game, set, match. The Nets got their revenge with Mikhail Prokhorov in the house.
The stats: 27 PTS, 11/20 FG, 8 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TOV
Brook Lopez got crushed in the rebound department by DeAndre Jordan, but then again, so does just about every other NBA center. With Lopez’s developed and dangerous jump shot, he gave Brooklyn the ability to spread the floor and bring Jordan out of the paint, creating easier looks at the rim. He’s also a cold blooded killer from three-point range, shooting 4/9 from deep.