The Los Angeles Clippers won’t have their leading scorer, and they’ve been waiting even longer for this sort of winning streak.
Missing Williams on Wednesday, the Nets (20-43) beat Golden State 94-90 for their third straight victory behind 26 points and 10 rebounds from Brook Lopez(notes). New Jersey hasn’t won four consecutive games since Jan. 31-Feb. 7, 2009.
Williams, averaging 15.8 points and 15.2 assists in five games with the Nets, is expected to rejoin the team Saturday.
Lopez helped make up for the missing production with his second straight double-double, which he hadn’t done since March 24-26.
“The team definitely fought through on this one,” Lopez said. “I knew we’d pull it out just because of the way we were playing defense. We were getting stops.”
Lopez scored a team-high 24 points Nov. 15 in a 110-96 victory against the Clippers.
Los Angeles (25-40) beat Eastern Conference-leading Boston 108-103 despite only 12 points and seven rebounds from Griffin on 4-of-14 shooting. Griffin had recorded a double-double in eight straight games prior to Wednesday.
The Clippers have won a season-high four straight following a stretch in which they lost 12 of 14. They haven’t won five in a row since Nov. 2-12, 2006.
“There’s so much attention to Blake, but you win as a team,” coach Vinny Del Negro said. “The reason we’re playing a little bit better is that we have weapons.”
However, one of those weapons may not be around any time soon to help extend the winning streak.
Gordon, who scored 30 points in the November meeting with New Jersey, re-injured his wrist Saturday against Denver. He’ll miss his third straight game Friday, and Del Negro said he isn’t sure when Gordon will return.
“Let’s just see how he responds to the therapy,” Del Negro said. “It’s his shooting hand, so it might make it a little more difficult. But all signs point to him returning. But when? That’s another story.”
The Nets have not swept the Clippers in a season series since 2003-04.