Nets-Clippers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 22, 2013
Following one of their worst defensive games of the season, the Los Angeles Clippers put together perhaps their best performance in their last contest. They may face a stiffer challenge trying to contain the Brooklyn Nets, who haven't had any trouble scoring so far on their road trip. The Pacific Division-leading Clippers will try to claim back-to-back victories for the first time this month and beat the Nets for the eighth time in nine home games on Saturday night. After matching a season high for points given up in regulation in a 116-101 loss at Sacramento on Tuesday, Los Angeles (47-22) tightened things up in a big way in a 101-72 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday. The Clippers allowed their lowest point total of the season, finished with 13 steals and forced 19 turnovers that led to 24 points in the team's fourth win in five home games. "You got to stay calm and fight our way back in and we did that,'' forward Blake Griffin said. "We had a big letdown (against the Kings) so to have a bounceback like this in a back-to-back, it's a good win.'' Now Los Angeles will have to find a way to contain a Brooklyn team that has averaged 116.0 points on 52.3 percent shooting in its two victories to kick off an eight-game trip. The Nets (40-28) outscored Dallas 91-64 after the first quarter Wednesday en route to a 113-96 win. Brooklyn, which is right on New York's heels for the Atlantic Division lead, clinched a playoff berth with Denver's win over the 76ers on Thursday. The Nets have been playing well on the road, winning seven of nine to move within two victories of the single-season franchise record of 20. Deron Williams and Brook Lopez combined for 69 points on 28-of-47 shooting on Wednesday and the Nets shot better than 50.0 percent for the third time in four games. "When you're feeling good and feel like you can't miss, it's a good feeling,'' said Williams, who scored 31 in each of the first two games of the trip. Williams and the Nets' backcourt may catch a break Saturday. Eric Bledsoe (calf) has missed the Clippers' last five games while Chauncey Billups (hamstring) sat out Wednesday's win, and both are questionable to return against Brooklyn. Lopez finished with a season-high 38 points on 15-of-22 shooting on Wednesday and had a team-high 26 in an 86-76 home win over the Clippers on Nov. 23. He's averaged 24.7 points over his last three games in this series. Brooklyn stifled the high-scoring Clippers in the first meeting, holding them to 40.3 percent shooting - including 4 of 17 from 3-point range - and 29 points in the second half. The Nets' defense has also been a key on the road lately, as they've allowed just 88.4 points over their last five away from Brooklyn. Chris Paul has scored just 12.2 per game in his last five against Brooklyn, but Griffin has averaged 22.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in his last four in this series. Griffin has 23 and 14 in the Nets' last visit on Jan. 16, 2012, a 101-91 Los Angeles win that marked its seventh in the last eight meetings at Staples. Despite its struggles in Los Angeles, Brooklyn has won five of the last six meetings overall.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne


USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

USMNT are big favorites against Canada

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Johnny Manziel dropped by agent

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should save Manziel

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

The merits of trading Blake Griffin to the Hornets

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Could the Marlins contend in 2016?

Report: Browns to cut Manziel in March

Browns rip Manziel in statement

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker