Clippers ride big 1st half to 123-84 blowout win over Nets
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Clippers built a double-digit lead and then turned things over to their reserves, who kept pummeling the Nets.
Blake Griffin scored 22 of his 24 points in the first half, when the Clippers led by 33, and Los Angeles went on to its largest victory ever over Brooklyn, 123-84 Thursday night.
J.J. Redick and reserve Jamal Crawford added 17 points each, DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Chris Paul had a season-high 17 assists for the Clippers, who have won nine of their last 12 and three in a row.
Coach Doc Rivers credited the bench for keeping the pressure on the Nets.
"It was their defense that got us going," he said. "Two things they’ve done better is they start with defense and get the ball movement. The bench is alive and that hasn’t been the case all year. It’s called growth and it’s good for our team."
With Kevin Garnett resting, the Nets were led by Mason Plumlee with 16 points. Darius Morris and Jerome Jordan had 11 points each, and Jordan grabbed 11 rebounds. They have lost nine of 11.
"It was unfortunate for us, very embarrassing, considering it was a nationally televised game," Jordan said. "The only thing that counts is that it was only one game, and now we’ve got to move forward."
The Clippers put the game away in the first half, when they shot 66 percent and Jordan had already secured his double-double. They were especially dominant in the second quarter, outscoring Brooklyn 36-14.
"We had tried to stay with them, but it just didn’t work out that way," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. "The game plan was just obliterated by their play."
Los Angeles’ reserves continued the offensive momentum from late in the first quarter, when the Clippers used a 19-4 run to go up 34-21. Led by Crawford, the second unit overwhelmed the Nets 14-4 to extend the lead to 48-27. Crawford scored nine points, including six straight, to start them off.
"This is what we’ve been talking about all year, finding that consistency," Paul said.
Griffin, Jordan and Paul returned halfway through the second quarter and put on a show. Jordan had back-to-back dunks, powering over Brook Lopez on the second one, while Paul hit a 3-pointer. Griffin scored their final six points, hitting a 22-footer, to give the Clippers a 70-37 lead at the break.
They didn’t let up in the third, either.
Redick scored 11 points in the Clippers’ 19-6 run to open the quarter, giving them an 89-44 lead — their largest of the game. Redick hit all three of his 3-pointers in the spurt, punctuated by consecutive dunks from Jordan and Griffin.
Jordan, Redick and Paul joined Griffin on the bench for the last five minutes, with Los Angeles ahead 97-56 going into the fourth. The Clippers and Nets rested their starters in the fourth.
"The second team sparked us defensively," Griffin said. "They stepped up the intensity with the 16-4 run and then we came in and did the same thing."
The Nets shot 37 percent, and got outscored 56-48 in the paint.
"As bad as it was, it was just one," Lopez said. "We can’t be like that again, that’s for sure."
Nets: Garnett sat out to rest after the 38-year-old forward had played in three straight games. … Reserve F Mirza Teletovic was taken to a hospital at halftime after complaining of shortness of breath. He was scoreless in seven minutes in the first half. "He just told me he wasn’t feeling well, and that’s all I know," Hollins said afterward. … The Nets have not beaten the Clippers on the road since Nov. 15, 2010. … Nets co-owner Jay-Z and Beyonce attended.
Clippers: Rivers said Dahntay Jones would receive a second 10-day contract. "He’s been great for Austin (Rivers) and C.J. (Wilcox)," the coach said. "He has a toughness about him as well." … Griffin was named a West starter for the fourth time in his fifth All-Star game, while Paul was left off although he could still be chosen as a reserve. "It would be a shock if he wasn’t," coach Doc Rivers said. … Their previous largest win over the Nets was by 33 points on Nov. 22, 1995. … New San Diego Padres outfielder Matt Kemp attended, as did Floyd Mayweather.
Paul had the most assists in under 25 minutes since 1987, when Doc Rivers was a guard with the Atlanta Hawks.
"Doc may be better than some of us thought he was," Paul joked.
Rivers said Paul "thought it was a big deal until he saw my name up there."
Besides Garnett, the Nets were without Deron Williams, who has fractured rib cartilage.
Joe Johnson, who averages a leading 15.9 points, was held to nine. Second-leading scorer Jarrett Jack had seven points, just under his 11.5 average.
"We’re just trying to develop some type of consistency," Johnson said. "Coming down the stretch, you have to have consistency if you’re even going to get into the playoffs. And obviously as you saw tonight, we’re so inconsistent, especially defensively"
Nets: At Utah on Saturday.
Clippers: At Phoenix on Sunday.