The New Jersey Nets trailed the Los Angeles Clippers 41-21 with 5:41 left in the second quarter on a lay up by Randy Foye, and heard boos from a sold-out crowd of 18,711, that included minority owner Jay-Z. The Nets were able to cut into the Clippers lead, trailing 51-37 at that half, and opened the second half on a 20-6 run, sparked by five apiece by Brook Lopez and Jordan Farmar and four apiece by Kris Humphries and Travis Outlaw, to tie it at 57, with 5:12 left in the third quarter. With the Nets trailing by one in the fourth quarter, 93-92, Lopez laid it up to give the Nets a one-point lead with 3.8 left. Lopez fouled Blake Griffin, but the rookie sensation was only able to hit one of two free throws to send the game into overtime. In overtime, Lopez and Farmar combined for the eight Nets points, highlighted by a three-pointer by Farmar that made it 101-96, and they defeated the Clippers, 102-98.
While happy with the result, Nets head coach Avery Johnson wasn’t happy with his team’s start. “They pretty much had the slam dunk contest all over again. They had multiple stars in that contest, and not just Blake Griffin” Johnson said, referring to the Clippers, who entered the game with Griffin and DeAndre Jordan second and third in the league in dunks with 157 and 133, respectively, opening the game with five straight dunks. “We are a pretty gutsy team. We have been in two triple overtime games this year and the guys just really never quit.” Of the sellout crowd, the second of the season for the Nets, Coach Johnson said it was “as loud as I’ve heard them this year” referring to the fans at the Prudential Center.
Jordan Farmar talked about the impact of Kris Humphries on both ends of the floor. “Hump was huge tonight. He has been for us all season. We call him lumberjack and he’s the guy who goes to work for us every day. He’s tough, he’s the man on the floor and he makes things happen. He rebounds, he guards the other team’s best player, he’s setting screens, he’s doing
all of the little things to help our team be better and that was just another example of that tonight.”
“The first half I think we weren’t aggressive enough to start the game. They had too many easy transition dunks. It’s easy to play basketball when you just have to run down the court and dunk the ball” Kris Humphries said. On guarding Griffin, he said “I felt comfortable guarding him man-up in the post. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if I won the match up, it matters if we won the game so that’s the way I look at it” Humphries said in response to whether he outplayed the Griffin.
Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro simplified things. “The game came down to the Nets out worked us in the second half. They were more physical, they were tougher, and they attacked the basket way more than we did.” Clippers center Chris Kaman had similar thoughts. “They outplayed us and we didn’t executive offensively or defensively. We made a bunch of mistakes defensively. Frustrating to lose that game when we were up so many points like that.” On Humphries, Kaman said “He’s an energy guy. He comes in and plays so hard. You really have to give him credit, he really hutstles after those balls.”
Lopez finished with 2 game-high 24 points. 7 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Farmar also had 24 points, 7 assists, and 3 steals. Kris Humphries had an amazing game with his 22nd double-double of the season with 19 points on 8-8 from the field and 3-3 from the line, and a career-high 20 rebounds. Anthony Morrow, Sundiata Gaines, Travis Outlaw all chipped in with 9. Gaines added 6 assists and 5 rebounds.
The Clippers were led by Blake Griffin, with 23 points and 9 rebounds, wile Chis Kayan came off the bench to score 23 points, grab Tte 10 rebounds, and dish out 5 assists. Foye had 19 points and 10 assists.
The Nets have won four straight game four the fist time since February, 7, 2009. It is also the biggest win.
The Nets host the Boston Celtics Monday at 7pm.