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Hollywood Lights Too Bright for Brooklyn; Nets Annihilated by Clippers, 123-84

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't brought to our attention that the NBA decided to run a preview of the Slam-Dunk Contest at the Staples Center, Thursday night, just hours after announcing the All-Star game starters. The Nets' attempt to play at their full potential was once again shot down, losing 123-84 to the Los Angeles Clippers. On national television. In front of the ever-so-delightful TNT crew.

It was like stealing candy from a little kid; a simple task that doesn't require too much work to succeed at your goal. That's how the Clippers treated the Nets -- like a little kid with candy -- with absolutely no resistance. It took 24 minutes and two guys by the name of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin to do so.

The Nets started off the game on a hot note, hitting on seven of their first nine shots with Mason Plumlee scoring in double digits during the early stages of the game. Los Angeles answered with a 15-2 run late in the first quarter which built their lead up to 13.

The rout continued.

The Nets' offense grew stagnant real fast and L.A. took advantage. They went on a 23-3 run and built their 13 point lead up to 30 with DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin leading the way. Griffin scored 20 points and Jordan grabbed 11 rebounds in the half -- just one short of Brooklyn's total in the half. They were outscored 36-14 in the quarter after shooting an atrocious 6-of-21 from the field. Their deficit was up to 33 at the halftime buzzer and this game was essentially over from that point on.

Blake Griffin filled the stat sheet with 24 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals in 25 minutes on 11-of-14 shooting. The Nets had zero answers for the backcourt duo of Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, who grabbed 12 rebounds to go along with his 14 points on a perfect 7-of-7 from the field.

The Clippers extended their 33 point lead up to 43 in the third quarter following a 19-9 start to the quarter. Doc Rivers took out his starters and Lionel Hollins subtly threw in the white towel by subbing out Joe Johnson and Jarrett Jack. The two Hollins-favorite players scored a combined 16 points on 7-of-23 shooting, noticeably affected by fatigue.

Some nights, you just don't have it. Shots aren't falling and sometimes it's a blessing in disguise to your star players in need of some rest. This game was a completely different story. The Nets are led by Kevin Garnett, a player that has essentially made a living off his leadership and passion. You'd think this team would follow his lead, even though he didn't play tonight, but this Nets' group seems to lack the energy and heart that KG has preached throughout his entire career. The sad truth: the Nets have done very little, if anything at all, to prove that they are worthy of a playoff spot.

Most said the 76ers loss was the worst of the season. That changed, real quick.

It's the little things that show. Sure, they shot 4-of-21 from three and 37.5% from the field, but it definitely didn't help that they had the same amount of team assists as the opposing point guard. Chris Paul went for six points, five rebounds and three steals, but dished out 17 assists! That's identical to what the Nets had and a little less than half of the Clippers' 39 team assists. The assists provide more evidence that the Clippers' ball movement was fluid and played a key factor in the 11-of-25 shooting from three and 59% from the field.

For Brooklyn, Mason Plumlee was one of three players in double figures with 16 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Jerome Jordan scored 11 points and 10 rebounds and Darius Morris chipped in 11 points as well.

J.J. Redick scored 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Jamaal Crawford chipped 17 points as well.

During halftime, the Brooklyn Nets announced that Mirza Teletovic was taken to the hospital due to a shortage of breath. TNT reported that a stretcher was in the locker room, but Teletovic walked on his own.  He later tweeted that he was fine.

The Nets will face off against the Utah Jazz, Saturday at 9PM.

For more on the Los Angeles Clippers, check them out at Clips Nation.