Clippers spread the love in 114-101 win over Nets
NEW YORK (AP) — If this is what the Los Angeles Clippers can do by keeping it simple, imagine the possibilities once they know their plays.
Los Angeles put seven players in double figures and shot 56.5 percent from the field in its fourth win in five games, bouncing back nicely from a loss in Philadelphia.
Austin Rivers, who had 17 points, said even he was surprised with how easy the Clippers made it look, since they’ve had to slash their playbook in the aftermath of trading Blake Griffin to Detroit.
“I think a lot of people slept on us when we got all these players but I think we’re getting better and better,” he said.
D’Angelo Russell and Joe Harris each scored 16 for the Nets, who dropped their sixth straight.
“We couldn’t stop them. We never found a solution to stopping them,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “They got downhill on us. We knew we had to keep them out of the paint and we never did. That was the story of the game. We couldn’t stop them.”
The Clippers are still adjusting to a different team after acquiring new starters Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley from the Pistons, and coach Doc Rivers said the Clippers were being careful not to call too many plays, since the new players hadn’t had enough time to learn them.
Whatever they did Monday worked just fine.
“Like I told them after the game, there will be a night where only two guys get big numbers and we win, and there’ll be nights where five, six, seven, eight guys will score in double figures and we win,” Doc Rivers said. “Doesn’t matter, as long as we win.”
The Clippers were 15 of 21 in the first quarter, building a 34-22 lead. They kept it up in the second, pushing the lead to 45-28 on consecutive layups by Harrell, who made all four shots in seven first-half minutes. Los Angeles led 66-51 at the break.
They had 90 points after three quarters and when the Nets cut it to nine in the fourth, the Clippers scored six straight to take a comfortable lead again.
Clippers: Milos Teodosic returned after missing two games with a sore right foot and had seven points and four assists. … The Clippers won for just the second time in six games at Barclays Center.
Nets: F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (right groin strain) and G Caris LeVert (right knee sprain) will remain out through the All-Star break. … G Milton Doyle, who has played in six games for the Nets, was voted the NBA G League Player of the Week for last week’s games.
BACK TO BOSTON
Doc Rivers attended the Celtics’ loss to Cleveland on Sunday for Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement ceremony. The rare appearance at an NBA game he wasn’t playing or coaching in wasn’t just a day off, though, since the former Celtics coach wasn’t exactly there as a fan only.
“I was more of a coach because we play Boston Wednesday, so I was sitting there as a complete coach and scout,” he said. “But it still was really interesting to do that. I may have to do that more. It was really cool. I got a lot out of it, I really did.”
FALLING TOO FAR
The Nets fell behind by 28 points on Saturday in a loss to New Orleans, wiping that out before falling in two overtimes. They played from behind nearly all the way in this one, mostly by double digits.
“It’s definitely difficult right now. Nobody likes to lose, especially in the fashion we have been lately,” Joe Harris said. “It seems like we just keep digging ourselves holes and you can’t beat teams in the NBA when you’re trying to overcome 20-point deficits. It takes too much energy to crawl your way back in. It’s just getting repetitive at this point.”
Clippers: Visit Boston on Wednesday.
Nets: Host Indiana on Wednesday.