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Nets visit Clippers, hoping for success from their backcourt

Los Angeles Clippers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Eek. The Brooklyn Nets had a great chance to come away with a win in regulation against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night, but De'Aaron Fox forces overtime. From there, they came up short and suffered a disappointing loss. Three more games to go on this road trip before coming back home.

The opponent tonight will be the Los Angeles Clippers. Through it all, the Clippers have managed to stay in playoff contention and have a great chance to make some noise coming down the stretch. They beat up the Knicks on Friday night and are barely outside of the eighth seed.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 9 PM.


Jahlil Okafor will return after a series of minor injuries and the flu. Isaiah Whitehead remains on assignment with the Long Island Nets. It’s the healthiest the Nets have been since November.

Danilo Gallinari is out. Avery Bradley too.

The game

The Clips won the first game in February.

Ever seen a man die?

We’ll get a nice match up at center tonight. DeAndre Jordan (and his dreads) has managed to play well even as his name was circulated in various trade rumors throughout the season. What’s made this season different than most for DJ is his success at the free throw line. He’s shooting a career best 60.3 percent from the line and teams are fouling him a lot less than usual. On the other side is Jarrett Allen (and his fro). Allen continues to grow and the more we see of him, the more there is to like. There is a 10-year difference in age and years in the NBA. It showed in the first game with Jordan finishing with 16 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks to Allen’s eight points, four rebounds and two blocks. Call it a learning experience.

As for the Nets experimental backcourt, D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie, it’s still unsettled and Kenny Atkinson is trying to get the two combo guards to be a big more aggressive.

DeMarre Carroll has given Dinwiddie a directive. Speaking about finding his comfort zone with Dlo, Carroll didn’t mince words.

“You either find it or you don’t,” Carroll said. “I know that’s kind of tough love, but that’s what I’m here for. Like I tell Spence, we need him to be the same Spence he was when D’Angelo was out of the lineup. Now that he’s back in the lineup, ‘We still need you to be that Spence that you were before.’ Write it that way.”

As Atkinson noted, Dinwiddie drove to rim five times vs. the Kings. That’s not going to work.

Life’s good for Long Island’s Tobias Harris these days. He got out of a situation in Detroit where he wasn’t playing up to his potential and out of the playoff picture to LA where he has a chance to make the playoffs. Harris has successfully made the move to power forward over the past couple of years and his three point shooting helps a lot in the front court. Rondae Hollis Jefferson doesn’t have a three point shot, but he’s also made the move from small to power forward over the years. He’s still coming off the bench for now, but look for him to be back in the starting five soon.

Player to watch: Lou Williams

Even though he missed out on the All Star game, it’s still a sweet time to be Lou. He’s been having the best season of his career as he’s successfully filled (some) of the void left by Chris Paul. Williams is at career highs in minutes, points per game, and three point percentage. Having a scorer like Williams can keep the Clips in games as he’s able to get his shot off whenever he needs to. And he just signed a three year contract extension, too.

D’Angelo Russell will be at the two guard for Brooklyn. It’s been fairly hit or miss since he came back and the Nets are hoping Russell will finish the year on a strong note. Although Russell made five three pointers on Thursday, he went 5-15 overall and committed five turnovers as well. In his two years with the Lakers, Russell had a bit of a turnover problem. He’s been turning he ball over more this year, but I think we can attribute that to him dealing with injuries and getting comfortable with his new role.

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More reading: Clips Nation