Using a 12-2 run in the final 1:05 to erase an eight-point deficit, the Nets stormed back for a wild 102-100 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at Barclays Center last night, halting their losing streak at four games.
Jarrett Jack nailed a tough pull-up jumper over the outstretched hands of DeAndre Jordan with 1.3 seconds remaining to give the Nets their third victory in the last 15 games.
After the Clippers went ahead by nine with 1:46 left, Alan Anderson, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and then Anderson again made the Nets' final four three-point attempts, with Anderson turning his second one into a four-point play. "When it left my hand, I knew it was going in,'' he said.
The Clippers pounded the Nets less than two weeks ago, leading to questions about a lack of effort in the nationally televised dunkfest the Clippers put on in Los Angeles. So if the desperation that accompanies a losing streak didn't serve as enough motivation, the Nets had tons of incentive to put it on the Clippers. Jack made sure they cashed in on it, too.
Brook Lopez paced the Nets (19-28) with 24 points and seven rebounds, starting the second half at center alongside Mason Plumlee, a byproduct of Kevin Garnett's collecting four fouls in the first half.
Jordan was a force for the Clippers (33-16), powering his way to 22 points and 20 rebounds. About the only flaw in his otherwise impressive performance was his 2-for-12 display from the free-throw line.
Nets coach Lionel Hollins even tried to employ the hack-a-DeAndre strategy late in the fourth quarter, and Jordan sank one of two. But the Nets nearly couldn't muster enough offense in the final minutes to pull it out, missing four critical free throws in the final 2:31.
However, they dug in and took a 100-98 lead on Anderson's four-point play with 15.3 seconds left. After Chris Paul, who had 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, tied it with an easy layup with 8.6 seconds remaining, Jack went to work.
After a timeout, he worked to get his shot, raising up confidently and draining it to send the crowd of 16,037 into a frenzy.
The Clippers still had one final gasp. Matt Barnes fired the inbounds pass to Spencer Hawes, who tried to fire a quick return pass to Barnes as he raced toward the basket. But the pass had too much heat and ricocheted out of bounds, preserving the Nets' first win at home since Dec. 29.
Long-range marksmanship late in the game was crucial, as the Nets were 6-for-13 on threes in the fourth quarter.
Williams' reinsertion into the lineup didn't quite spark the Nets offensively in the first half. No one really had the touch going for them other than Lopez, who was an efficient 9-for-13 from the field for 18 points. He fared much better against Jordan than he did last time, when Jordan posterized Lopez on an alley-oop dunk.
Take away Lopez's line and the rest of the Nets shot 9-for-28 in the first half, making it all the more surprising that they held a 38-36 lead at the break.
Those 36 points were the fewest the Nets yielded in a half this season, showing they could ground the Clippers' high-flying attack if they kept a body on their man and stayed aware of the back screens that so often lead to the highlight-reel throw-downs.