Clippers build early lead and cruise to 114-101 victory over Nets
They had seven players score in double figures, making it an easy night and an easy game for the Clippers to bring home a victory.
They shot 56.5% from the field and 37.5% from three-point range, creating the sort of symmetry the Clippers desire with this still new group.
That show of force is what allowed the Clippers to beat the Brooklyn Nets 114-101 Monday night at the Barclays Center before 13,735 fans.
“There’s a lot of guys that can score,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “But if we share the ball like this, they all will score. Like I told them after the game, there will be nights where only two guys get big numbers and we win. There will be nights when five, six, seven, eight guys will score in double figures and we’ll win. It doesn’t matter, as long as we win.”
Perhaps to no one’s surprise, sixth-man savant Lou Williams led the Clippers in scoring with 20 points.
Austin Rivers was next in line with 17 points.
DeAndre Jordan was at his best with 16 points, 17 rebounds and two blocked shots. He produced his team-high 29th double-double of the season, which ranked him eighth in the NBA.
Montrezl Harrell gave the Clippers a lift off the bench with 15 points, making all six of his shots.
Milos Teodosic, who was back after missing the last two games with a sore right foot, had seven points off the bench, Danilo Gallinari tallied 16 points, and Tobias Harris had 10 points and eight rebounds.
“Seven guys in double figures just shows a lot of ball movement,” Harris said. “Lou had a great game, so did Montrezl coming off the bench. Ever since I’ve been here, they’ve been an added spark every single game. But it just goes to show we have different options that can break you down.”
It appeared as if the Clippers had put the Nets away after Jordan rebounded his missed shot and scored on a layup just before the third-quarter buzzer sounded to give L.A. a 90-67 lead entering the final quarter.
But that 23-point lead was sliced to 104-94 with four minutes, 27 seconds left.
“We’ve had some bad losses here,” Doc Rivers said. “The last two years we’ve had big leads, and it looked like it was about to happen again. But we caught ourselves.”
The Clippers weathered the storm because Gallinari made two free throws.
Then after Jordan collected another rebound, Rivers scored on a floater.
Williams got a rebound, leading to another floater by Rivers that stretched the Clippers’ lead to 15 points.
“I was talking to Avery (Bradley) during the game and I said, ‘With this much scoring on our team now, everybody’s numbers will drop a little bit and we have to be willing to sacrifice that to make the playoffs,’” said Austin Rivers, who was eight-for-13 from the field. “Sometimes guys get caught up in the numbers because they want to get paid, stuff like that, and I get it. But when you win, all that stuff comes. And when you become a good team, people want you back.
“Everybody has to sacrifice something. Everybody is with that.”
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