Good job, good effort: Nets down four starters fall to the Clippers, 110-103

Stephen Dunn

How about this for a Hollywood story: The Nets are in Los Angeles to take on the title-contending Clippers and they're without four of their starters; Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. David, meet Goliath.

The Clippers were at full strength, with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin leading the charge. Could the Nets, though, pull off the miracle victory? Could they?!

No. The Clippers are just too good, especially at home. The Nets put up a nice fight throughout, but it was too much Clip-show, as they dropped the Nets, 110-103.

Brooklyn hung in early, matching the Clippers on the offensive side of the ball, even after Blatche picked up two quick fouls. The Nets went on a late 9-2 run, bodying the Clippers on defense, with first-quarter a lineup that included Mason Plumlee, Mirza Teletovic and Tyshawn Taylor. Yes, in the first quarter.

Alan Anderson played really well, scoring nine first-quarter points, and hitting two of the Nets' four threes in the first. At the end of one, the Nets actually only trailed the Clippers by three, 29-26. Surprisingly.

It only got better from there, at least early in the second quarter, when Mason Plumlee helped carry the Nets to an early lead, after putting down back-to-back dunks. Tyshawn Taylor provided the open court court looks, actually outplaying Chris Paul in the first half of this game.

With 2-plus minutes to play in the second quarter, Jason Terry was at the free-throw line, putting the Nets up by 10 points to the Los Angeles Clippers, on the road, playing with only one starter. What a fantastic effort. Brooklyn carried a 55-54 lead into the half.

In the third, the Nets pulled out to an 11-point lead after the Clippers started the quarter 0-11 from the field. Things were looking up for the Nets until, well, they weren't. The Clippers, led by their bench and, yes, J..J Redick went on a run, taking the lead late in the third and carrying it throughout the fourth.

Again, it may not have turned into a victory for the Nets, but boy did Taylor, Plumlee and company play really well, considering. Plumlee finished with 19 points and six rebounds, while Taylor went for 13 points and five assists in 15 minutes.

Anderson led the way on the stretch, hitting four threes and scoring 15 points, while Blatche went for a team-high 19 points. Shaun Livingston once again played well in Deron Williams' absence, going for 11 points, five rebounds and four assists.

There was too much Blake Griffin in this one, who scored 13 of his 30 points in the first quarter. Redick finished with 26points, hitting five threes.

It's hard to get too upset about this one considering how short-handed the Nets were, but it was a "moral" victory, for sure. This Nets team just didn't stop fighting. Yet, they will head home having gone 1-2 on this road swing. Plenty to like about this performance against Los Angeles, though.

Next up, Monday night at home against the Portland Trail Blazers. Who knows how many of the walking wounded will be back?

For more on the Clippers, see: Clips Nation

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