The visiting Brooklyn Nets fell to the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Sunday night as Austin Rivers drilled a 3-pointer with 33.8 seconds left to put the Nets’ attempted fourth-quarter comeback away for good. The Clippers overcame an eight-point deficit in the final minutes of the fourth quarter (118-110) from two pivotal baskets by Rivers and Lou Williams.
“I just told Lou Williams keep shooting, keep being aggressive. And Lou looked at me and said, ‘Bring it home,’” Rivers said.
Rivers scored a team-high 27 points on 10 of 15 from the field and hit four three-point shots.
“To [Austin Rivers’] credit, he’s made a lot of big ones,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “You knew coming down what he was going to do and we want our guys to do that. I want Lou [Williams], and Austin, and Tobias [Harris] to feel free enough to take that shot.”
Williams added 21 points while DeAndre Jordan continued to improve at the free throw line. Jordan made 9-10 free throws on the night. He finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds.
The Clippers opened the game with a 10-0 run. The team would lead by as much as 12 points in the first half. In the second quarter, Montrezl Harrell added six points in the second quarter. A pair of sunken free throws by Tobias Harris gave the Clippers a 56-51 edge over the Clippers with three minutes left.
The Clippers turned it on as the finals minutes of the quarter wound down. The team went on a 12-2 run to close the half. 12 point lead at halftime The Los Angeles basketball club played in cruise control for the third quarter maintained a five point lead heading into the final quarter of play.
The Nets tied the game at the start of the fourth quarter with a running pullup jump shot by Joe Harris. The Clippers were forced to take a timeout. Out of the time out, Austin Rivers nailed a three-pointer. Joe Harris responded with back-to-back three pointers on the opposite end.
“We stayed composed were able to gather some stops and offensively we had to make shots. Up until that point they were making shots. I thought we picked up our intensity, especially in that stretch,” Harris commented. He added 26 points and eight rebounds to the Clippers win.
The Nets made several attempts to force the game into overtime down the stretch. The final blow was Sindarius Thornwell’s block on Harris’ three-point attempt as time expired.
Four of the Nets five starters combined for 25 points on the night. The Nets bench outscored their starters 75-45 led by Caris Levert who scored a team-high 27 points. With this win, the Clippers are a half-game behind Denver for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Clippers signed Sean Kilpatrick to a 10-day contract after he was waived by the Milwaukee Bucks. In his debut game with the Clippers, he scored two points.