Nets 102, Clippers 93

Joe Pantorno, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Recovering from a sluggish first quarter, the Brooklyn Nets showed what their healthy lineup is capable of in a 102-93 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.
Brooklyn (8-14) ran its winning streak to a season-high three games.
Nets point guard Deron Williams scored 15 points and added five rebounds and four assists in his second game back since an ankle injury sidelined him for three weeks. He was one of five Nets to score in double figures. Guard Joe Johnson and reserve center Andray Blatche tied for the team lead with 21 points, while center Brook Lopez added 16.
Blatche, who earned a standing ovation at the end of the third quarter, shot 7-for-11 from the field and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
The Nets, who were suffering from third-quarter collapses, flipped the script, using stellar defense and an in-sync offense to take the Clippers out of the game.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers was on the opposite bench from his former players, Nets forwards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The three were together with the Boston Celtics from 2007-13, winning a championship in 2008.
Pierce finished with 10 points, but his presence did plenty to bother the Clippers. Los Angeles shot just 7-of-20 in the first half when he was on the floor, sparking a Nets surge.
Garnett had just two points and six rebounds in 15 minutes.
Clippers forward Blake Griffin struggled with his mid-range game, shooting 2-for-8 from the field. He finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Brooklyn's defense proved hazardous for the Clippers, who shot just 37.1 percent from the field. Point guard Chris Paul led Los Angeles with 20 points but only had two assists, far off his league-leading 11.9 mark.
The Nets took full advantage of the time Paul and Griffin were not on the floor together.
Brooklyn trailed by as many as 12 points in the first quarter before Blatche helped the Nets grab their first lead of the night. He scored 10 points in the second quarter while Paul and Griffin sat. Williams scored 12 points in the final five minutes of the half, putting the Nets up 12 at the break after they outscored the Clippers 36-19 in the second quarter.
The Nets shot 28-for-30 from the free-throw line, while the Clippers were 35-for-52.
NOTES: Clippers C DeAndre Jordan is making a case to be an All-Star. He began the night ranked second in the NBA in field-goal percentage (.619), third in rebounds per game (13.0) and fifth in blocks per game (2.09). He finished with six points, 12 boards and one block Thursday. ... The Clippers brought the league's fifth-ranked offense into Brooklyn, averaging 103.7 points per game. They know how to share the ball, averaging 24 assists per game, third best in the NBA. ... Playing in his first game since Nov. 15, Nets G Deron Williams had 25 points and seven assists in Brooklyn's 104-96 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

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