Nets win their third straight, make statement in blowing out the Clippers, 102-93

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

BROOKLYN - Once again there were plenty of emotions at Barclays as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett suited up against their former head coach, Doc Rivers, with the Los Angeles Clippers in town. Brooklyn was looking to win their third straight game as the Clippers were coming off yet another "emotional" game in Boston, with Rivers returning to his old stomping grounds.

Once again, Pierce came off the bench for the Nets, the first time in his career coming off the bench in back-to-back games. Alan Anderson picked up the start.

The Clippers got off to a hot start, exploiting the Nets deficient defense in guarding the three-point line. On the other end of the floor, the Nets couldn't get anything going offensively. The scored just six points in the first six minutes of the game.

Brooklyn shot just 35 percent from the floor in the first quarter, and thank to a 6-0 run to end the first they trailed by five, 25-20 after one.

The pace slowed down a bit for the Nets in the second quarter, which resulted in Brooklyn making a run to start the quarter and taking the lead early, 33-31. With Chris Paul on the bench, the Clippers offense went out of sync, while Pierce came in off the bench to spark the Nets' second unit. In fact it was Pierce, not Shaun Livingston, who facilitated the offense for the Nets while Williams was on the bench. To his credit, Pierce really seemed to embrace his role off the bench.

Williams started to heat up in the second quarter, scoring 10 straight for the Nets late in the second and leading them to a 56-44 halftime lead. He was, as they say, engaged. Williams scored 13 points in the first half, 12 of those coming in the second, and sparked a 46-21 run by the Nets that netted them a 12-point halftime lead.

The run continued for the Nets in the third quarter, with the ball moving inside-out, with Lopez facilitating the high pick and roll, Williams, driving and kicking to Joe Johnson, who was feeling it from beyond the arc. It was about as fluid as we've seen the Nets move offensively all season long. And in the third quarter, no less.

Credit goes to the Nets defense as well, which was fantastic. They adjusted properly, forced Paul into doubles, gave CP3 different looks by having Alan Anderson 'D' him up. Again, it was a complete performance by the Nets starters.

One scary moment in the third was when Brook Lopez tweaked his ankle, causing him to come out of the game for a brief minute before returning, followed by a trip to the locker room. Jason Kidd said Lopez suffered a sprained ankle but would travel to Detroit for Friday's game vs. the Pistons.  He would make no guarantee beyond that.

Lopez downplayed the injury.

After three, the Nets led the Clippers 83-62. Really, aside from the first six minutes of the game and the Lopez injury scare, there was nothing much to complain about over the second and third quarters.

The key to the fourth quarter was to make sure that the Clippers wouldn't be able to climb back into this one, so that Williams could rest. Los Angeles mad a bit of a run, but not much of a serious one. They never got any closer than 9 points, and in the end the Nets pulled out a 102-93 victory, winning their third straight game.

Williams finished with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists in 26 minutes. Pierce went for 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 27 minutes off the bench and Garnett had six rebounds in 15 minutes. Blatche was brilliant as well, finishing with 21 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Joe Johnson hit four threes, finishing with 21 points.

Lopez was diagnosed with a sprained left ankle and did not play in the fourth quarter. We'll have to keep an eye on that one.

For more on the Clippers, see: Clips Nation

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