Last night at Staples Center, the New Jersey Nets earned their fourth win of the season as they defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 110-96. The Clippers fall to 1-10 on the season and are sorely missing Baron Davis and Chris Kaman.
With the victory, the Nets snap their 23-game losing streak against Western Conference teams on the road. Also, the Nets captured the first game of an important four game western road trip.
The Nets actually got off to a sloppy start, with Travis Outlaw and Anthony Morrow finding themselves in foul trouble early. The first five Clipper points were all on free throws. But LA was very cold from the field all night which allowed the Nets to build a lead.
Outlaw racked up seven points in the first quarter while Kris Humphries, in his third straight start of the season, recorded six first quarter rebounds.
The Nets opened an 11 point lead about half way through the second quarter. But then a game-changing play occurred.
At the 6:42 mark, Blake Griffin, who is averaging a double-double in his rookie season, received a breakaway feed with a clear path to the basket. Devin Harris caught up with him and grabbed him around the neck, taking Griffin down hard.
The contact was not meant to be malicious, but Harris was still ejected based on the rules. He had eight points and seven assists at the time.
Should Harris have been ejected?
Rather than let the loss of Harris hurt them, the Nets played extremely well on the offensive end for the rest of the night. Jordan Farmar filled in nicely for Harris, recording 15 points and a career-high 12 assists in his return to LA.
Brook Lopez had his outside jumper going all night and led the Nets with 24 points. Outlaw added 23 points, 18 of which came in the first half. Humphries finished with a double-double, posting 13 points and 12 rebounds. He also held Griffin to only 11 points on the night.
For the Clippers, Eric Gordon scored a game-high 30 points, 16 of which came from the free throw line.
Ben Uzoh looked good in his NBA debut for the Nets, giving New Jersey a spark in place of Devin Harris. He created several second chances throughout the night.
The 110 points are a season-high for New Jersey as they continue their western road trip Wednesday against the Utah Jazz.