It came one night after the Nets’ 129-127 victory over the Raptors in Toronto. Yi stepped up, delivering more points against the Clippers than he had in the previous four—23.
“Yi really came to play tonight,” Carter said of the 7-foot power forward. “It was an emotional win last night. For Yi to be the catalyst for us tonight was what we needed.”
Yi was aware the Nets needed a spark.
“The last game was a pretty big game,” Yi said. “Tonight, we kept it going for the back-to-back.”
While the Nets have come to depend on strong games from their backcourt of Carter and Devin Harris, Yi added a dimension the Clippers could not handle.
“Their big guys, especially Yi, were able to follow as a trailer and get some great shots,” Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. “They shot the ball really well.”
Harris had 18 points and 10 assists, and Brook Lopez finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Bobby Simmons had 11 points as every Nets starter hit for double figures for the first time this season and New Jersey got its fourth win in the last five games.
It was an odd shooting night for the Nets, who went 11-for-19 from 3-point range but were only 25-for-39 from the free-throw line.
The Clippers lost manpower when they obtained Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins on Friday from the Knicks for Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas. Randolph and Collins were inactive against the Nets, pending physicals Monday in Los Angeles.
Their absence left the Clippers short-handed for a second straight night, having lost 89-88 in Philadelphia on Friday night.
“It’s going to help having Zach and Mardy but tonight we couldn’t have them,” said Chris Kaman who had 14 points. “That isn’t the reason for the loss. We can beat this team with the team we had on the floor. We just didn’t play it the right way.”
Yi had a lot to do with that.
New Jersey opened up a 72-56 lead early in the third as Yi took charge, hitting a pair of 3 pointers while coming up with a block on Ricky Davis at the other end to set up Carter for a fast-break layup.
The Nets had an 84-71 advantage heading into the final period. Only a 12-point third quarter by Davis kept the Clippers in the game.
The game was the first of five in which the Nets will let unemployed fans submit resumes that the team will forward to potential employers.
The team has set aside 1,500 free seats for fans who submit resumes, contact information and career goals. The information will be sent to the Nets’ corporate sponsors and businesses who buy season tickets. Several companies set up informational booths at the Izod Center.
Randolph said the trade was “kind of surprising, but then it wasn’t. I knew the Clippers were trying to get me. A lot of teams have been trying to get me. There had been a lot of talk about the Knicks getting under the salary cap. I know it’s a business and the Knicks are trying to get players in the next couple of years.” … Josh Boone (left ankle contusion), Chris Douglas-Roberts (sprained MCL in right knee) and Stromile Swift (sore back) remain sidelined for the Nets. Eduardo Najera sat out with a strained lower back.