The Brooklyn Nets were missing four starters Saturday night in Los Angeles -- and they almost won. But the healthier Clippers were too much to handle, and the Nets wrapped up their three-game West Coast road trip with a 1-2 record after losing 110-103 at Staples Center.
WHAT IT MEANS: Much like Orlando and Sacramento did to the Nets in road blowouts, Brooklyn gave the Clippers fits with its athleticism and effort. In the end, though, it wasn't enough and the Nets couldn't hold on to an 11-point third-quarter lead. Blake Griffin (30 points, 12 rebounds) and J.J. Redick (26 points) were dominant, which enabled Los Angeles to overcome Chris Paul's off shooting night (3-for-12). Paul, who added 13 assists to his 12 points, did hit the biggest shot of the game -- a 3-pointer that gave the Clippers a 100-94 lead with 2 minutes, 6 seconds left.
Brooklyn is now 3-6 overall, 1-5 away from home. It's hard to really make anything of this game, as the Nets have greater concerns. But the reserves came through for the squad.
Andray Blatche (19 points, eight rebounds) and Alan Anderson (15 points, four 3-pointers) led the way, while Tyshawn Taylor (13 points in 15 minutes) was extremely impressive. Brooklyn had a season-high 16 offensive rebounds and a season-low 11 turnovers. Joe Johnson (5-for-17) and Shaun Livingston (4-for-14) both struggled from the field, though Livingston played much better than his shooting line indicated.
SHORT-HANDED: The Nets were without Deron Williams (sprained left ankle), Brook Lopez (sprained left ankle), Kevin Garnett (sprained right ankle) and Paul Pierce (sore left groin). Brooklyn ended up starting Johnson, Livingston, Anderson, Reggie Evans and Blatche. Garnett and Pierce were supposed to face their ex-coach, Doc Rivers, for the first time since they all left Boston. Instead, that game will have to wait (likely) until Dec. 12 in Brooklyn.
BACK-AND-FORTH THIRD: The Nets scored the first 10 points of the third quarter to establish a 65-54 lead as the Clippers missed their first 11 shots of the frame. But Los Angeles responded with a 20-2 run to go up seven. Ultimately, Brooklyn was outscored 22-20 in the third. The Nets are 0-6 when losing the third.
LOB CITY IN LOB CITY: Mason Plumlee had two alley-oops and a putback dunk in the first half. The impressive rookie, who also finished off a two-handed slam in the second half, finished with a career-high 19 points in 26 minutes. He did go just 5-for-12 from the free throw line, though.
UP NEXT: The Nets are headed home. They'll have Sunday off before getting back after it at Barclays Center against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday.