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Sunday, March 24, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Clippers 101, Nets 95

By Mike Mazzeo



WHAT IT MEANS: Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers got the better of Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets.

Paul outscored Williams, 29-18, and the Clippers beat the Nets, 101-95, on Saturday night at Staples Center.

Paul is now 5-14 in his career against Williams. Paul had 17 of his points in the fourth quarter -- 11 of his team’s final 13 -- and finished the night with 11 assists. Williams went 6-for-16 from the field and notched nine assists on the night.

Williams, coming off back-to-back 31-point performances, missed a late 3-pointer that could’ve given the Nets a 93-92 lead, then threw a careless pass that was intercepted by Jamal Crawford, and Crawford went in for an uncontested dunk to give the Clippers a 94-90 lead with 48 seconds left.

The Nets (40-29) dropped to 2-1 on their eight-game circus road trip and 16-25 against .500-or-better teams (at time of game played). After committing a combined 18 turnovers in their previous two games, the Nets turned it over 15 times on Saturday night, leading to 23 Clippers points.

Los Angeles outscored Brooklyn 11-5 in the final two minutes to decide the game.

Joe Johnson, who finished with 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting -- 0-for-7 from 3-point range -- suffered a left quad contusion with 8:44 left in the third quarter. He went back to the locker room with trainer Tim Walsh, but returned to the game shortly thereafter.

CRASH!: Gerald Wallace had a $40 million third quarter. Wallace, who came in averaging just 8.2 points per game, erupted for 13 in the third -- keying an 8-0 run -- and the Nets took a 75-70 lead into the fourth.

HUMP SIGHTING: Kris Humphries, who sat the last seven games after being pulled from the rotation, played 10 minutes on Saturday night and went scoreless. A funny moment in the game came when Humphries and his former brother-in-law Lamar Odom competed for a jump ball. Odom won the jump and the crowd roared. Mirza Teletovic was a DNP-coach’s decision.

GETTING BACK IN THE GAME: The Nets used a 13-2 run to turn a 23-16 deficit into a 29-25 lead early in the second quarter.

JOE GETS A GO: Johnson, who came in having scored just nine points in his previous game, had 10 in the first quarter. The Nets trailed 25-24 after the period. The Clippers hit five 3-pointers in the opening 12 minutes, while the Nets had five turnovers.

UP NEXT: Nets at Suns, Sunday at 9 p.m.